The Gigantic Peanut In The Sky

This is an artist’s representation of the largest yellow star ever found. It is more than 1,300 times larger than the Sun and it is rapidly getting even larger. According to the study leader, Olivier Chesneau:

The two stars are so close that they touch and the whole system resembles a gigantic peanut.

The double star’s boring official name is HR 5171, but I propose we call it The Great Sky Peanut.  Even though it is 12,000 light-years from earth, a keen sighted person could see it on a dark night, twinkling in the constellation Centaurus.

This representation was made by the European Southern Observatory (hat tip to NPR’s Geoff Brumfiel for sending it my way). You can read more about the star here.

Image credit: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2