Scenes from Space #37

This amazing image of swirls of dust surrounding the variable star V838 Monocerotiswas was recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope this past September. V838 Monocerotis is about 20,000 light-years away. In January 2002, a sudden outburst from the star was detected, and the light from the outburst illuminated the shells of dust surrounding the star. Astronomers expect that the outburst will continue to ilight up more and more distant dust shells of V838 Mon for at least the rest of this decade. Amazing, isn't it?