VY Canis Majoris The Largest Star That Has So Far Been Discovered About VY Canis Majoris Canis Majoris is a red hypergiant star that when viewed from earth is very close to the constellation Canis Major. As you can see in the lower image, Canis Majoris ejects large amounts of gas during it’s outbursts. Canis Majoris has been found to be very unstable. It is expected to hypernova in 100,000 years. Many hypergiants exist in binary star systems or multiple star systems, but Canis Majoris is a single star. It is about 1.5 kiloparsecs (4,900 light years) from earth. www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBjYA5rtUzk Size Canis Majoris is the largest star that has so far been discovered. When viewed from earth it’s very tiny, which means it has a very small apparent magnitude. Canis Majoris is so large that you could fit about seven quadrillion earths inside of it. To put this into perspective, if earth were the size of a golf ball, Canis Majoris would be the height of Mt. Everest. It is estimated that the diameter of Canis Majoris is 1.7 billion miles. As you can see in the picture on the right, the sun is only one pixel when compared to Canis Majoris. The chart on the left compares the size of all the planets in our solar system to some commonly recognized stars, including our sun and Canis Majoris. Jerome Lalande Jerome Lalande was a French astronomer that lived from 1732-1807. Lalande is credited with the discovery of Canis Majoris. He cataloged the star on March 7, 1801, and he listed as a 7th magnitude star. However, it is now said that it is closer to an 8th magnitude star. The greater a star’s magnitude the less bright it is.