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Sep 28 2011

In space, size does matter!

The rare yellow hypergiant star IRAS 17163-3907 as seen by the ESO. The star and its gaseous shells resemble an egg white around a yellow center leading astronomers to dub it the Fried Egg Nebula

Astronomers at Chile’s European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, at the Paranal Observatory in Chile have spotted a monstrous star, and in cosmic terms its not even that far away:

The new image, which ESO scientists dubbed the “Fried Egg Nebula” shows the central hypergiant star, officially known as IRAS 17163-3907, surrounded by a huge dusty double shell, making up the egg yolk and white. The massive star is so large it has a width that is about 1,000 times larger than our sun. In fact, if the Fried Egg nebula were placed at the center of our solar system, the Earth would be positioned deep within the star itself. The orbit of the planet Jupiter would be just above the star’s surface.

How does that compare with the largest stars in the universe? The video below will embiggen you!

2 comments

  1. 1
    RW Ahrens

    Ok, I’m going to go home and curl up in a ball under my blankie, now!

    Dang, that makes one feel kind of insignificant, doesn’t it? Somehow, the thought of being a speck in the Universe just seems too big against the reality.

  2. 2
    BinJabreel

    Well, to quote my favorite philosopher:

    “This is why Man chooses to stay inside with his devices.”

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