HR 5171, the brightest star just below the centre of this wide-field image, which is a yellow hypergiant
Astronomers have identified the largest ‘yellow’ star ever observed in our galaxy and one of the 10 largest ever discovered in total. The star is more than 1,300 times the diameter of the sun and 1,000,000 times brighter.
The star named HR 5171 A is 12,000 light-years from Earth and can even be seen with the naked eye. It was discovered by an international team of scientists using the European Space Organization’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer in Paranal, Chile.
Yellow hypergiants are extremely rare; approximately a dozen are known to exist in the Milky Way. In general, they are very unstable because of the stage of their ‘life’. The most well-known is Rho Cassiopeiae in the Cassiopeia constellation.