Zeta Persei -- Double Star in Perseus
The Massive Star Zeta Persei
The star Zeta Persei is about as massive as stars become. With 15 times the mass of our sun
and 27 times as large, this supergiant star shines as bright as 47,000 suns. Even at the
monstrous distance of 750 light years it still shines bright enough to be easily seen without optical
aid from my suburban backyard.
One of the two companion stars that make up the Zeta Persei system can also be seen through
the refractor. The other one is just too close to the primary star for me to see. The doable
companion star is at 8 o’clock of the primary star in the drawing. It also used to be thought that
the pair of stars underneath Zeta Persei (in the drawing) were also part of the Zeta Persei system,
but they have turned out not to be associated with the supergiant star.