Above and Beyond: V838 Monocerotis

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This video shows V838 Monocerotis, a red supergiant star surrounded by a cloud of dust.

Star and Planet Formation
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach.
All images, illustrations, and videos courtesy of NASA, ESA, and STScI except:
·       Taurus constellation drawing from Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia by Johannes Hevelius, courtesy of the United States Naval Observatory
·       Andromeda Galaxy visible-light image courtesy of NOAO/AURA/NSF
·       Rocket launch image ©2008 ESA-CNES-Arianespace/Photo by Optique Video CSG 
·       Sunrise image copyright Jamie Lee – Fotolia.com
·       Barnard 68 images courtesy of ESO
Written by Tracy Vogel
Designed by Marc Lussier 
Music courtesy of Associated Production Music


A bright red star shines in the middle of a cloud of red dust, other stars, and orange dust.

Text, Hubble image of V838 Monocerotis. This is V838 Monocerotis, a red supergiant star surrounded by a cloud of dust. In 2002, it gave off a flashbulb-like pulse of light that illuminated the shell of dust around it.

The star from a distance. A small red sphere is encased in a large beige and white sphere of dust clouds amongst black space and tiny scattered stars. The dust appears to shift.

Text, As the light pulse expands, so does our view of the dust.

The dust cloud appears more distant to the red star.

Text, The universe will eventually recycle the dust and turn it into new stars.

A cluster of bright blue-white stars surrounds the dust cloud, with the red star in the center.