The Universe is full of such weird shit :)
Sixty years of professional and amateur observations have turned up a new surprise in the constellation of Centaur: a huge, heavy and bright monster that's the largest yellow star ever seen. The hypergiant, HR 5171 A, has impressive vital statistics: the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope Interferometer team …
First things first, someone needs to put things into perspective.
No boom today, boom tomorrow. There will always be a boom tomorrow. Boom.
6-7 magnitude fop a star that is not a white or blue giant means it somewhere fairly close. A quick google shows 12k light years. Difficult to judge really. If it goes supernova we may end up with way more tan than we would like. Not particularly bad though - the last close supernova (the crab nebula) was 6.5k away.
I've just finished reading the paper. The authors suggest that contact between the two stars may only have happened 30 years ago (well, ~12,030 years ago, but you know what I mean) and that's what's responsible for the apparent cooling. The mass-transfer could last for tens of thousands of years and depending on how that changes the orbital distance between the two stars, their evolution is uncertain. Fascinating stuff.
AFAIK that might depend on whether there is a lack of "metal" in the star. You also need to be in a cone centered on the axis of rotation to get, and whether you are within a cone centered on the axis of rotation to get a good atmosphere-reforming blast.
Ok so the 'A' start is 1300 times the diameter and 39 times the mass of our sun.
Which is about 2.2 billion times the volume (1300^3) for the 39 solar masses to slosh about in.
Giving it an average density 0.000000018 of the Suns.
Ok that doesn't affect the supernovae Physics, but it's more a howling ball of hot fog at the moment.
"Let's get that diameter in perspective: drag-and-drop HR 5171 A in place of our sun, and it's good-bye to Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, the asteroid belt, Jupiter and Saturn."
So would that place Uranus, Neptune and Pluto in the Goldilocks Zone? Or would they all be like Daddy Bear's porridge?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Even if Neptune & Co were in the Goldilocks zone, it wouldn't be for long, and it'd be a Goldilocks zone inhabitated by bears.
Stars like that are unstable on human time scales. Today they're a yellow star 1300 times Sol's diameter, tomorrow a core hiccup makes them an even-larger red giant, and the next day they cool and contract a bit. (Where "day" might mean "decade" or "century.")
Further, low density stars like this are producing epic solar winds that carry away entire solar masses of their own fumes. A terrestrial planet in the Goldilocks zone will have its atmosphere sand-blasted away very quickly (where "quickly" means "decades" or "millennia," give or take a few orders of magnitude.)
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