Leave a Comment A new MMTPol image of IRC+10420, a yellow hypergiant star located in the constellation of Aquila, reveals the unusual nature of this object, one of the most luminous stars known. The imaging polarimeter, originally commissioned at the MMT at the end of 2011 and fed by the MMT’s adaptive optics secondary mirror, shows that IRC+10420 is likely enshrouded in a narrow cone of dust. Read more.
While many stars in dust shells show polarized light percentages of 50% or more, the circumstellar scattering from IRC+10420 is quite low, indicating that our point of view of this star from Earth looks down the throat of the cone itself. MMTPol is scheduled for more science observations on the MMT this October under the care of its designers and Co-PIs, T. Jones of the University of Minnesota and C. Packham of the University of Texas at San Antonio.