News Release Archive:

News Release 519 of 1051

February 3, 2005 09:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2005-02

Light Continues to Echo Three Years After Stellar Outburst


Video: V838 Mon Light Echo Unveiling

Running Time: 21 seconds

A dissolve sequence of six images taken by Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys shows a CAT-scan-like probe of the three-dimensional structure of the shells of dust surrounding the aging star V838 Monocerotis. The sequence reveals dramatic changes in the way a brilliant flash of light from the star is reflecting off surrounding dusty cloud structures. The effect, called a light echo, has been unveiling never-before-seen dust patterns ever since the star suddenly brightened for several weeks in early 2002.

Animation Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

Selected still images from this video (click to enlarge):