Stars are points of light, right? Not if you have a big enough telescope and some serious technology on hand. The limited resolving power of astronomical instruments usually means that we don't get to see any details on objects like distant stars. But just like our sun, these stellar furnaces can have complex and variable structures visible in their outer layers.

ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer has been able to construct the best image yet of another star - Antares, a red supergiant about 12 times the mass of the Sun, 680 time the solar radius, and about 550 light years away. By combining light from multiple telescopes the effective diameter of the instrument was boosted to about 200 meters, drastically improving the image resolution.

Credit: ESO, K. Ohnaka

And this inspired the following artist's impression of what Antares might look like if you were up very close and personal.

Credit: ESO, M. Kornmesser