Vega's Secret Revealed
April 13, 2006— The truest and bluest star of spring and summer has been hiding a terrible secret: Vega is spinning so fast it's close to flying apart, say astronomers.
Vega is the very bright bluish star that now rises in the northeast between 9 and 10 p.m. and will soon take its traditional place as the brightest star in the early summer night sky of the Northern Hemisphere. For generations of astronomers Vega has been the epitome of stability and light quality.
As a result it has become the stellar standard: the star to which all others are astronomically compared.
But technology has caught up with Vega. New super high-resolution telescopic observations reveal a violently spinning star that only appears stable and extra bright to us because of the unusual angle visible from Earth: Almost straight down one of its poles.