28 September 2011

‘Fried egg’ star spotted in deep space

If the Universe was born in quark soup and the Moon is made of green cheese, it’s only logical that there should be a star named after a cholesterol hazard.
Astronomers have named a remarkable star 13,000 light years away the “Fried Egg Nebula” because of its yellow, yolk-like core and billowing white surround.
Odd names aside, IRAS 17163-3907 is a genuine curiosity, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) said on Wednesday.
It is a monster of a star, with a diameter 1,000 times bigger than the Sun and 500,000 times the brightness.
It belongs to an extremely rare class of stars known as yellow hypergiants.
These are colossuses that become convulsed in a string of explosions, blasting out dust and gas that form in shells around the star. The star eventually rips apart in a supernova.
The “Fried Egg” was spotted using an infrared camera on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile’s Atacama desert, the ESO said in a press release.
The find is being published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Source: Inquirer.net




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