A computer-generated model of Regulus based on CHARA data.

Portrait of a Star on the Edge |  NOAO Astronomer Steve Ridgway is part of a team that used the CHARA array on Mount Wilson to make detailed measurements of the physical properties of Regulus, the brightest star in Leo. They found that Regulus’ frenetic spin gives the star a grossly bulging mid-section; its equatorial diameter is one-third larger than its north-south diameter. The star’s axis of rotation happens to point in the same direction as its motion through the galaxy—meaning Regulus zips along like an enormous, spinning bullet. NSF press release

Image Credit: Wenjin Huang, CHARA, Georgia State University