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Illustration of a Red Giant

A giant among giants: With an estimated diameter of 400 million kilometres, the red star Antares is large enough to consume the solar system almost to the orbit of Mars.

A general term for any very large star, but used especially for stars in the later stages of their evolution after the rapid expansion that follows the end of their dwarf phase. Stars of this kind are known as 'red giants' and belong to the spectral class M.

Arcturus in the northern constellation of Boötes is the brightest giant star in the skies of Earth. Arcturus has a diameter some twenty times that of the Sun, and is more than a hundred times as luminous. Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas


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