Image Of Dying ‘Hypergiant’ Star Captured
September 29, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
MUNICH, Germany, Sept. 28 (UPI) — European astronomers have released a new image of a hypergiant star, a monster star with a diameter a thousand times bigger than the sun.
At about 13,000 light years from Earth, it is the closest yellow hypergiant yet observed and new data show it shines about 500,000 times more brightly than the sun, a release from the European Southern Observatory said Wednesday.
“This object was known to glow brightly in the infrared but, surprisingly, nobody had identified it as a yellow hypergiant before,” ESO astronomer Eric Lagadec said.
Dubbed the Fried Egg Nebula for the surrounding ring of gas the star has thrown off, scientists said it is likely near the end of its life and will die a violent death as a supernova explosion.
The star has already ejected four times the mass of the sun in just a few hundred years, they said.