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Monocerotis (V838) Outburst

This is my latest animation (9.4mb) of the 2002-2005 Monocerotis Outburst event, based on a computer model of multiple frames of this strange event by the +European Space Agency, ESA http://www.spacetelescope.org/videos/heic0617a/

 V838 is a red variable star in the constellation Monoceros about 20,000 light years (6 kpc) from the Sun. The previously unknown star was observed in early 2002 experiencing a major outburst. The reason for the outburst is still uncertain, but several conjectures have been put forward, including an eruption related to stellar death processes and a merger of a binary star or planets. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V838_Monocerotis

Images credit: NASA, ESA and H.E. Bond (STScI)

There's another version by +Lars DeRuntz here: http://plus.google.com/111051039748078110427/posts/DSrM6xhexJe

cc +Fraser Cain 
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15 comments
 
I would have liked to have added more frames to extend the sequence to include the later blowout, but this was already getting pretty large at almost 10mb, so chose to leave the latter part out. 
 
Totally awesome!!!  All we are used to seeing from astrophotos are "a snapshot of a forest" where changes over time are only guessed. 
 
Actually, technically they're really old!
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Looks like that star had beans with cabbage and hard boiled eggs...
 
Like.the spherical expansion gives perspective to the stars behind.
 
Amazing! That looks beautifully magical!
 
+Ole Olson The latter parts weren't imaged with the same filters either, making it hard to keep the colors the same throughout the animation. I guess anything is possible with some Photoshop magic though.

The image got way larger than I had anticipated, my full-res uncompressed gif was up at 40mb, and I would have liked to tween it a lot more.
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