Light Echoes from V838 Mon

  • metta

    Posts: 38626

    Apr 03, 2013 3:00 AM GMT


    Light Echoes from V838 Mon

    What caused this outburst of V838 Mon? For reasons unknown, star V838 Mon's outer surface suddenly greatly expanded with the result that it became the brightest star in the entire Milky Way Galaxy in January 2002. Then, just as suddenly, it faded. A stellar flash like this had never been seen before -- supernovas and novas expel matter out into space. Although the V838 Mon flash appears to expel material into space, what is seen in the above image from the Hubble Space Telescope is actually an outwardly moving light echo of the bright flash.

    In a light echo, light from the flash is reflected by successively more distant rings in the complex array of ambient interstellar dust that already surrounded the star. V838 Mon lies about 20,000 light years away toward the constellation of the unicorn (Monoceros), while the light echo above spans about six light years in diameter.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Apr 03, 2013 11:42 PM GMT
    I'm surprised no one has commented on this. It is truly a spectacular anomaly. We're looking at light 'echoing' off interstellar dust with a diameter of six light years. icon_eek.gif


    ETA: And this occurred roughly 20,000 years ago but just now visable in our region.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 04, 2013 2:13 AM GMT
    A has-been star flashes a little vagina and paparazzi are there to click click click, like it's the most amazing thing. "Hungry public must be fed non-stop. This star will flame out and we will be there to capture it. It must DIE!"

    Can't this star just be left alone in dignity? I don't need to know every time it farts, runs a red light, or checks into Promises.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 04, 2013 2:15 AM GMT

    Yeah Mon !!