|The Story of V838 Mon...
In January 2002, a faint star in an obscure constellation suddenlybecame 600,000 times more luminous than our Sun, temporarily making it one of the brightest stars in our Milky Way galaxy. Although back to a more normal brightness, the mysterious star, called V838 Monocerotis, has continued to illuminate the dusty environs in which it lives, uncovering remarkable new features. The phenomenon, known as a "light echo," is providing astronomers with a CAT-scan-like probe of the three-dimensional structure of shells of dust surrounding an aging star.
Most recent epochs of the ever-expanding
light echo surrounding V838 Mon
(Click to enlarge)
Previous Heritage releases of V838 Mon