Region around the Quintuplet Cluster. Full size image is annotated to show WR 102c.
Credit: NASA/ESA, Hubble
Epoch J2000 Equinox J2000
|Right ascension||17h 46m 11.14s|
|Apparent magnitude (K)||11.6|
|Age||4 - 6 Myr|
WR 102c, qF 353E
According to recent estimations, WR 102c is as much as 500,000 times brighter than our Sun. An initial study reporting a much higher luminosity mistakenly used photometry from a nearby star. It would have formed as a 40 M☉ O-type main-sequence star a few million years ago and has since spent a period as a red supergiant before losing its outer layers completely. It is now almost hydrogen-free and nearing the end of its life. It will produce a type Ib or Ic supernova within the next few hundred thousand years.
WR 102c is surrounded by a shell of nebulosity which contains dust made even hotter than the star itself by intense radiation. The nebula also includes nearly 1 M☉ of molecular hydrogen and around 10 M☉ of ionised hydrogen, all expelled from the star.
There is a suggestion that WR 102c may be a binary star. A nearby corkscrew-shaped jet of nebulosity could have been expelled during the orbital motion. which would imply a period of 800 - 1,400 days. It is surrounded by a small cluster of stars around 1000 M☉ in total, separate from the much more massive Quintuplet Cluster.
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