A monster version of our sun has been found, the largest known member of the family of yellow stars to which our sun belongs. The whopper sun emits light in similar wavelengths as our sun but its diameter is over 1300 times larger. That means it would engulf all the planets between Mercury and Jupiter if placed at the centre of our solar system. The star's size also means it is touching its smaller, companion star (see diagram, above). Dubbed HR 5171 A, the star is located in the constellation Centaurus around 12,000 light years from Earth. It was already known to be a hypergiant, the largest class of stars, but its exact size hadn't been well studied. Now a team led by Oliver Chesneau of the Côte d'Azur Observatory in Nice, France, has taken a closer look with the Very Large Telescope in Atacama, Chile. They report that it is twice as large as expected. It still isn't the largest star we know about – that crown goes to UY Scuti, which is around 1700 times larger than our sun. But UY Scuti is in a different stage of stellar evolution and so belongs to a different family of stars called red stars. via New Scientist.
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