The person who wrote this on the Yahoo! front page wasn’t wrong according to some authorities:
Depending on the source of your grammatical wisdom, referring to a person by the word that is wrong or perfectly acceptable. I’ve always believed that it’s not wrong, just impolite. And sometimes it’s ambiguous. Had the writer used the pronoun who, instead of that, it would be clear that the star is a human being, and not Castor or Rigel, both stars in their own right, but in different constellations.