It is not clear whether more massive blue supergiants can lose enough mass to evolve safely into old age as a Wolf Rayet star and finally a white dwarf, or they reach the Wolf Rayet stage and explode as supernovae, or they explode as supernovae while blue supergiants. What happens first is that the outside of the star swells into a red supergiant. Rigel is 120000 times brighter than the sun and is as big as Jupiter's orbit! However, they have been found, in many cases, to be some of the most massive in the universe.
The idea is that the star, even at luminosities below the Eddington limit, would have insufficient heat convection in the inner layers, resulting in a density inversion potentially leading to a massive explosion.
The best known example is Rigel, the brightest star in the constellation of Orion.
Digging a little deeper into the science of such objects reveals a lot more detail.
 Depending on the exact mass and composition of a red supergiant, it can execute a number of blue loops before either exploding as a type II supernova or finally dumping enough of its outer layers to become a blue supergiant again, less luminous than the first time but more unstable. As the luminosity of stars increases greatly with mass, the luminosity of hypergiants often lies very close to the Eddington limit, which is the luminosity at which the radiation pressure expanding the star outward equals the force of the star's gravity collapsing the star inward.
The blue-white supergiant Rigel is only 10 million years old!
credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level. There are many different types of stars that astronomers study.
The yellow hypergiants are thought to be generally post-red supergiant stars that have already lost most of their atmospheres and hydrogen. These are thought to be the hypergiants, near the Eddington limit and rapidly losing mass. Stars with an initial mass above about 25 M☉ quickly move away from the main sequence and increase somewhat in luminosity to become blue supergiants.
Let's follow along the path of a star. | 25 Check your knowledge with a quiz that follows the lesson. credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. As it grows, it enters one of two pathways of life. As we mentioned above, supergiants will eventually die as supernovae. Hypergiants are difficult to study due to their rarity.
It's not uncommon for such stars to oscillate between the red and blue supergiant stages before eventually going supernova. There are a lot of forces going on at this point - some repulsive, some compressive - until finally the whole star explodes and produces a shock wave that forces the matter from the star into space. When they do, the final stage of their evolution can be as a neutron star (pulsar) or black hole. Compared to the sun and earth, Rigel is just a baby. That's the executive summary of a blue supergiant.
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