The Sun, an object in our solar system, is truly an amazing object. With the power to birth to and also destroy life, society has always been fascinated with the aura of the sun. Now, what if there was evidence that there was a star just like our sun, but 1,300 times bigger. I do not think I am going on a limb in saying that we, as a human race, cannot even fathom that size. The newly discovered yellow hypergiant, HR 5171 A and smaller but also hotter HR 5171 B are said to be some of the largest hypergiant stars ever found. Experts say that if you were to put these two stars, which connect to each other in orbit, in our solar system, the stars would stretch out past the orbit of Saturn.
Now think about that size. The sun by itself, as I stated before, is our lifeline. However, we do not have to look far to see the disastrous consequences if the sun was a bit closer or too far away. For example, take Venus and Mars. Venus is uninhabitable because the planet is too hot and has toxic ozone. Mars, on the other hand, is too cold for anyone to live on. If HR 5171 A/B would be in our solar system, we would not even be having this discussion.
These hypergiant stars are very rare because their stage life is so short. Many experts are saying that these giants will cool in the next 1000 or so years, turning into blue hypergiants. The interesting fact about HR 5171 is that being 12,000 light years away would usually mean that this star would be undetectable to the naked eye. However, HR 5171 is so bright, that it can be seen on a clear night looking at the constellation of Centaurus. It is truly amazing on the spectacular things that are in our sky.