Earth and Space

Echoing light

Stories from Physics for 11-14 14-16 IOP RESOURCES

Among the many beautiful images produced by the Hubble Space Telescope, some of the most dramatic are the sequence of images capturing a flash of radiation from a red supergiant star, V838 Mon, in the Unicorn constellation. In 2002, the star suddenly increased in luminosity, releasing a burst of radiation 600,000 times more luminous than the Sun. The Hubble telescope captured a series of images of this radiation lighting up dust and gas surrounding the stars. The stunning sequence of images is viewable at the NASA website: nasa.gov/content/discoveries-highlights-seeing-light-echoes

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