“It’s a Mystery” –Special Physics of the Most Unstable, Super-massive, Volatile Star in the Universe


“The luminous blue variable is a supermassive, unstable star,” said Yan-Fei Jiang, a researcher at UC Santa Barbara’s Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP). Unlike our own comparatively smaller and steady-burning Sun, LBVs have been shown to burn bright and hot, then cool and fade so as to be almost indistinguishable from other stars, only to flare up again. Because of these changes conventional one-dimensional models have been less than adequate at explaining the special physics of these stars.