ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

Sponsored By: Two Men and a Truck
cloudy-day
85°
Partly Cloudy
H 94° L 79°
  • cloudy-day
    85°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 94° L 79°
  • cloudy-day
    91°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 94° L 79°
  • cloudy-day
    90°
    Evening
    Mostly Cloudy. H 94° L 79°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Science
Huge yellow star found with another star on its surface
Close

Huge yellow star found with another star on its surface

Huge yellow star found with another star on its surface
This composite image provided by NASA April 2, 2009 shows the Cartwheel galaxy as seen by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer's Far Ultraviolet detector (blue); the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera-2 in B-band visible light (green); the Spitzer Space Telescope's Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) at 8 microns (red); and the Chandra X-ray Observatory's Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer-S array instrument (purple). Approximately 100 million years ago, a smaller galaxy plunged through the heart of Cartwheel galaxy, creating ripples of brief star formation. In this image, the first ripple appears as an ultraviolet-bright blue outer ring. The blue outer ring is so powerful in the GALEX observations that it indicates the Cartwheel is one of the most powerful UV-emitting galaxies in the nearby universe. Although astronomers have not identified exactly which galaxy collided with the Cartwheel, two of three candidate galaxies can be seen in this image to the bottom left of the ring, one as a neon blob and the other as a green spiral. (NASA)

Huge yellow star found with another star on its surface

There are somewhere around 300 billion stars in our galaxy, so if the discovery of a single star is enough to make headlines, you better believe it's an impressive one.

Scientists at the European Southern Observatory, or ESO, say a yellow hypergiant in the constellation Centaurus is the largest yellow star ever discovered, and an easy contender for the top 10 largest stars of any kind. This is an actual photograph of it. (Via ESO / Digitized Sky Survey 2)

Yellow hypergiants are one of the rarest kinds of star, with only around a dozen ever discovered. That's because they're thought to be undergoing a radical change from red to blue, and the process doesn't take very long. (Via ESO / Nick Risinger / Digitized Sky Survey 2)

>> Read more trending stories  

The star was already known to be a yellow hypergiant, but astronomers weren't sure how big it was. They used the Very Large Telescope Array in northern Chile to take a closer look. (Via ESO)

Ok, so rather than throw a bunch of numbers at you, here are a couple of the science media's best comparisons to help you understand what the researchers found.

It's 1300 times the diameter of our sun. New Scientist crunched the numbers and found, "That means it would engulf all the planets between Mercury and Jupiter if placed at the centre of our solar system."

It's 12,000 light-years away, which is pretty far, but Discover Magazine points out ​"It's also about a million times brighter than our sun" meaning "It's bright enough that you could still spot it with the naked eye under ideal conditions." As far as we can tell, that makes it one of the most distant individual stars you can see in the night sky.

It's also getting bigger. Even though the star is already nearly twice as big as astronomers thought yellow hypergiants could get, a look back at older data found it's actually grown over the last 40 years. And that's not the only surprise.

The huge star has a tiny twin! The pair make up a binary system, and the lead researcher says "The two stars are so close that they touch and the whole system resembles a gigantic peanut." Yes, the two stars physically touch. (Via ESO)

So there are a number of reasons why this discovery is such an oddity. Studying the unique system will hopefully give scientists more insight into how hypergiants age and evolve, as well as, you know, the effects of having a star on top of another star.

See more at newsy.com.  

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • The Houston Zoo had its hands full Wednesday as its newest edition, a two-week-old elephant calf named Joy, wriggled and scooted her way to temporary freedom.  A zoo visitor captured the moment on cellphone video as Joy lay on the ground, wiggling her way under the bottom cable of the enclosure. Once she was under, she stood up and ran down the line between the primary and secondary enclosure fences.  >> Read more trending news The video, shared with KPRC-TV in Houston, showed zoo patrons hurrying along the outer perimeter of the enclosure, phone cameras at the ready, as Joy enjoyed her jaunt. Zoo workers could be heard calling for handlers and asking the crowd to step back as Joy’s mother paced on the other side of the fence and voiced anxiety over the situation.  A zoo spokeswoman told KPRC that Joy never got past the secondary fence. She was not injured during her brief adventure.   Joy was born July 12 to Shanti, a 26-year-old Asian elephant, after a two-year pregnancy. The calf, who weighed 305 pounds at birth, began nursing within three hours and has since been doing well and meeting milestones, zoo officials reported on Facebook. 
  • The pastor of a Mandarin church has posted a sign outside calling Allah a 'fake God.' Several people reached out to Action News Jax, calling the sign Islamophobic. The sign says: 'Allah fake God, Jesus Christ the real God.' Pastor Gene Youngblood would not come out of First Conservative Baptist Church's locked doors when Action News Jax showed up to ask why he felt this was an important message to display. JFRD: Lightning may have caused business fire in downtown Jacksonville 'I do appreciate your contact. But the sign stands for itself, speaks for itself, to be proven by the Quran,' said Youngblood. 'Ignorance really cultivates fear,' said Alex Sivar, chairman of interfaith organization Atlantic Institute Jacksonville. 'This is a monotheistic religion and the three major ones are, of course, Islam, Judaism and Christianity. And all three of them are worshipping the same god.' Sivar, who is Muslim, said he'd like to invite Youngblood and his family to his home. 'Have a dinner, break bread with me, and ask me all the questions that he has that he doesn't have an answer,' said Sivar. In 2015, Youngblood took a sign saying 'Homosexuals must repent or go to hell' down after a petition. In 2012, he posted a sign saying, 'Pray for our president to be replaced.
  • A Texas teenager is facing felony charges after she falsely claimed she was kidnapped and raped by three African-American men in March, according to reports. >> Read more trending news Breana Harmon, 19, ran into a church wearing only a shirt, bra and underwear and told witnesses she had been abducted, taken to the woods behind the church and raped by two of the men as the third held her down, the Dallas Morning News reported. An investigation found that the cuts on her jeans did not match the cuts on her legs, authorities said. A nurse found no evidence of sexual assault after examining Harmon. Later in March, she admitted to police that she had made up the entire ordeal. Harmon told authorities that “things from her past started going through her head” and she “began cutting herself and her jeans,” the Herald Democrat reported. She then confessed that she had lied about the incident because she didn’t want her mother to know she was cutting herself. Harmon was initially arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. She was indicted Wednesday on charges including two third-degree felony counts of tampering with physical evidence and a felony count of tampering with a government record, among other charges. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison. “The more we have looked at what happened in this case, and considered the harm it caused, and certainly could have caused, we believe what she did fits these higher charges,” Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown said in a statement. “What she did was very serious, and we believe it was felony conduct.”  The Herald Democrat reported that the Denison Police Department, which investigated the case, is also seeking $8,000 in restitution.
  • A 39-year-old Utah woman was killed by her husband aboard a Princess Cruise ship Tuesday night because, he told authorities, she wouldn’t stop laughing at him, according to the FBI. >> Read more trending news An FBI spokeswoman said Thursday that authorities arrested a man in the case after the ship was diverted to Juneau, Alaska. He was identified by The Associated Press as Kenneth Manzanares. Authorities said the woman, who was identified only as K.M., was killed during a loud domestic dispute on the Emerald Princess around 9 p.m. Tuesday, while the ship was traveling the waters off Alaska, The Associated Press reported. “Court documents say a man entered the cabin and saw the woman on the floor covered in blood,” according to the news wire. “Records say Manzanares grabbed his wife’s body and dragged her to the balcony before the witness stopped him.” A passenger on the ship told KTVA that he heard “two or three ladies or girls, definitely women, screaming” on the night of the incident.  He told the news station that his wife looked over their room balcony and saw a man “bruised, cut and covered in blood.” The ship left on Sunday from Seattle, carrying 3,400 passengers on a week-long trip.  The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

The Latest News Videos