Runner-up in the brilliance competition
And the silver medal goes to … the Peony nebula star. Observing the dusty center of the Milky Way, astronomers have found a hidden treasure: the second-brightest star known in the galaxy. Researchers had already known of the star’s existence, named for the flowery shape of its surrounding cloud of gas and dust. But the blanket of dust at the galaxy’s center had obscured the star’s true brilliance.