"The new observations also showed that this star has a very close binary partner, which was a real surprise," Olivier Chesneau, a scientist of the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur in France working with the VLT said in a statement. "The two stars are so close that they touch and the whole system resembles a gigantic peanut … The companion we have found is very significant as it can have an influence on the fate of HR 5171 A, for example, stripping off its outer layers and modifying its evolution."

Although the huge star is very far from Earth, keen observers can come close to spotting it with the naked eye, ESO officials said. The star shines about 1 million times brighter than the sun.


WATCH: Huge Yellow 'Hypergiant' Star Revealed.

 


"HR 5171 A has been found to be getting bigger over the last 40 years, cooling as it grows, and its evolution has now been caught in action," ESO officials said. Only a few stars are caught in this very brief phase, where they undergo a dramatic change in temperature as they rapidly evolve."

Chesneau and his international team of scientists used a special technique called interferometry to combine the light from multiple individual telescopes, creating a giant telescope they used to observe HR 5171 A, ESO officials said.

The new study will be published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. - FOX News.