V838 and the Illusion of Light Within

DanSpace77

15-108a

Image Credit & Copyright: The collage was made by me using NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope images.  Non-annotated version below.

It was January 2, 2002: A new light appears in the constellation Monoceros that until this moment hadn’t even been known to exist.  Today, what caused this event is still a mystery but none the less, you are witnessing something fascinating.  What looks like a cloud of expanding material from a disturbed star isn’t actually expanding at all; it’s relatively stationary.

Immediately after the event was noticed astronomers eagerly worked to collect data on the new light and almost immediately things such as gamma ray bursts and supernovae were ruled out and it was then determined that what they were looking at was a nova from a previously unseen distant star about 2-3,000 light years away.  Later investigation would reveal that this result was not the case and improved data moved…

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Author: rjbailey

"I have no idea what I'm doing, but I know I'm doing it really, really well." - Andy Dwyer

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