V838 Monocerotis

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) have released another frame to the really great looking animation of V838 Monocerotis (Quicktime). This is thought to be a young binary star system in the constellation of Monoceros, where the larger star has had a short outburst. As well as making astronomy picture of the day, it even made the front page of the Independent newspaper.

The press release claims that the individual frames are presented as if they had the same exposure time but it doesn't look like that to me; the central stars get brighter as time goes on. I don't think there should be any physical interaction between the expanding light echo and the foreground stars to make them brighter so my best guesses are that either the exposure correction isn't too good or it is a touched-up PR image made with Photoshop. At least it looks nice.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Friday 04th Feb 2005 (16:44 UTC) | Permalink
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