Largest discovered yellow star imaged by European Southern Observatory

Mar 12, 2014
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Largest discovered yellow star imaged by European Southern Observatory

The European Southern Observatory has imaged the largest yet-discovered yellow star, the HR 5171 A. The star turned out to be quite a bit larger than estimated upon its discovery, and sits solidly in the top-ten list of largest stars that have been discovered to date.

HR 5171 A is located 12,000 light years from our small planet, and is featured in an artist's rendition above. As mentioned, the star turned out much larger than had been anticipated, measuring in at 1300 times the sun's diameter, according to the European Southern Observatory.

An observation of the star was captured using the Very Large Telescope Interferometer shows that it is part of a double star system, making it one of the more notable among yellow hypergiant stars. These types of stars are unstable in nature, and only a dozen have been discovered within the Milky Way.

Even more interesting is its brightness, which is great enough to allow for observation with the naked eye. Said scientist Olivier Chesneau, "The companion we have found is very significant as it can have an influence on the fate of HR 5171 A, for example, stripping off its outer layers and modifying its evolution."

SOURCE: Space


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