ESO Very Large Telescope Spotted Picture of Monster Star IRAS 17163-3907

The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, has captured the best image yet of one of the rarest classes of stars in our universe, the monster star, which is called a yellow hypergiant. Yellow hypergiants are stars in an extremely active phase of their evolution. These rare stars experience a series of dynamic and explosive events that cause the star to eject four times the mass of the sun in only a few hundred years. The spewed material from these explosions, which consists of dust and gas, make up the extensive double shell around the nebula. The extreme activity of yellow hypergiants shows that the star will likely die an explosive death. 

This yellow hypergiant is located about 13,000 light-years away from Earth, but is the closest yellow hypergiant found to date. The new image, which ESO scientists dubbed the “Fried Egg Nebula” and which was released on September 28, 2011 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. This star has a width that is about 1,000 times larger than our sun. Have to say that new observations show that the Fried Egg nebula also shines approximately 500,000 times brighter than the sun.