The halo of light surrounding this star, the unusual and variable V838 Monocerotis, is called a light echo. A light echo occurs when light from the explosion of a star echoes off the dust surrounding the star. The light from the outburst travels to the dust and is then reflected to Earth. This light echo originated from the star V838 Monocerotis when it suddenly brightened for a couple weeks in 2002. This is a Hubble Space Telescope image.
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