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V838 Mon: Echoes from the Edge

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#95754 by @ 04.11.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
V838 Mon: Echoes from the Edge


Explanation:

Variable star V838 Monocerotis lies
near the edge of our Milky Way Galaxy,
about 20,000 light-years
from the Sun.

Still, ever since a
sudden
outburst
was detected
in January 2002, this enigmatic star has taken the center of
an astronomical stage.

As astronomers watch, light from the outburst echoes across
pre-existing dust shells around V838 Mon, progressively illuminating
ever more distant regions.

This
stunning image
of swirls of dust surrounding the star was
recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope in
September of this year.

The picture spans about 14 light-years.

Astronomers expect the
expanding
echoes to continue to light up
the dusty environs
of
V838 Mon
for at least the rest of the current decade.

Researchers
have now found that V838 Mon is likely a young binary star, but the
cause of its extraordinary outburst remains a mystery.




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