NASA’s Hubble has captured a stellar explosion 20,000 light years away. The incredible time-lapse animation you’re about to see spans four years and documents a massive explosion from V838 Monocerotis, a red star located in the constellation Monoceros. Right up to the explosion, V838 had grown to become one of the largest stars ever observed by astronomers, producing 600,000 times more light than our own sun. Continue reading for the clip and more information.
According to The Daily Mail, “A light echo is light from a stellar explosion echoing off dust surrounding the star.V838 Monocerotis produced enough energy in a brief flash to illuminate surrounding dust, like a spelunker taking a flash picture of the walls of an undiscovered cavern. The star presumably ejected the illuminated dust shells in previous outbursts. Light from the latest outburst travels to the dust and then is reflected to Earth. Because of this indirect path, the light arrives at Earth months after light from the star that traveled directly toward Earth.”