Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/19/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

V838 Monocerotis keeps flaring in brightness, probably a result of 'light echo.'

NASA has released a series of images showing the envelope of dust and gas around a recently discovered star. The star, V838 Monocerotis, was previously unknown until it flared in brightness and shone through a cloud in space.

An enhanced image of V383 Monocerotis, as seen through the Hubble Space Telescope.

An enhanced image of V383 Monocerotis, as seen through the Hubble Space Telescope.


By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

3/19/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Light Echo, Monocerotis, star, flare, brightness

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Located in the skies of the Southern Hemisphere, in the constellation of Monoceros, the Unicorn, astronomers first observed the star in 2002 when it flared in brightness.

Despite its flare in brightness, it has always remained just outside of naked-eye brightness, requiring a telescope to see.  However, the Hubble Space Telescope has been able to image the star with great clarity and has regularly done so since 2002.

Scientists have detected several flares from the star, and have long baffled at what could be causing them, since the pattern of flaring is inconsistent with a nova, which is a typical pattern of death for most stars. During a nova, the outer layers of gas belonging to a star are cast off into space forming a surrounding shell of outward moving dust and gas.

What astronomers now suspect is that light is reflecting, or echoing off dust and gas previously shed by the star in earlier eruptions, or the dust off which the light is reflecting could be the parent material from which the star formed. Scientists are unsure as to which.

Astronomers have offered several theories, including the possibility that the star has swallowed its planets, to explain the sudden flares in brightness.

Although scientists remain mystified by what is actually happening, further research should reveal what is actually going on. The Hubble Space telescope as well as several ground based scopes, are able to view the star quite clearly across different wavelengths. The star is close enough for very detailed observations, only 20,000 light years away.

Further observations will unravel the mystery.

In the meantime, the images produced by the Hubble Space Telescope make for interesting viewing.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Technology

UN delay in deadly robot ban could lead to extreme robot wars Watch

Image of


The United Nations has been warned over the delay in negotiations pertaining to the autonomous lethal weapons of the future. Speculation rose that this delay may lead to failure to stop deadly robot wars from taking place.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At ... continue reading

'Phubbing,' ignoring friends while talking on cell phones leads to strained relationships Watch

Image of Digital Trends defines phubbing as

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the digital age, the new mantra should be, "The most important in the world - is the one that I am with." "Phubbing," the rude practice of taking cell phone calls while ignoring the people near you is described as being an epidemic problem in the United ... continue reading

Police track criminals with planted GPS devices Watch

Image of


It has been months since police began tracking down a single man in a hoodie with a black ski mask caught holding up one gas station after another. It took authorities a bit of time before they solved a Long Island robbery spree, as the grainy surveillance footage was ... continue reading

Futurist predicts that robots will reside in human brains by 2030 Watch

Image of Futurist and lecturer Ray Kurzweil foresees the day when the human race will transform following  the implantation of nanobots into our brains, connecting us to the Internet.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Futurist and lecturer Ray Kurzweil foresees the day when the human race will transform with the help of nanobots, which will be implanted into our brains to connect us to the Internet. Kurzweil welcomes the day, which he predicts will be in the year 2030. While he is ... continue reading

NASA enlists public help in solving the mystery of Ceres Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists from NASA are seeking answers for the mysteries of moon-like dwarf planet Ceres. On Wednesday, the agency announced they are accepting suggestions from the public that they report would be taken "very seriously." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After ... continue reading

Breakthrough for short-term memory loss: Brain implant can now encode human memories Watch

Image of Much, if not all human experience resides in the memory. Now, an implant that encodes human memory is giving new hope to Alzheimer's patients and wounded soldiers who have lost their short-term memories.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Much, if not all human experience resides in the memory. Now, an implant that encodes human memory is giving new hope to Alzheimer's patients and wounded soldiers who have lost their short-term memories. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Developed at the ... continue reading

Scammers take advantage of Facebook dislike button Watch

Image of


Online scams are still prevalent, especially with the steady growth of new users. Social media giant Facebook gets new users every single day. However, novice users can pose dangers to themselves and to their Facebook friends by calling for "dislike" button scams. ... continue reading

Breast cancer without chemotherapy? Watch

Image of Chemotherapy may no longer be needed in early-stage breast cancer patients (OneBode).

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A major study's results show promise for a gene-activity test that gauges early-stage breast cancer patients' risks. The test can tell who will benefit from chemotherapy treatment and who will not. Those who do not require chemotherapy are not negatively affected by ... continue reading

Good News, Bad News! California scientists discover water --on Mars Watch

Image of Jaded Californians are already having fun with the announcement.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The good news? Scientists in California have found water! The bad news? It's on Mars. Scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena California have announced through NASA, the finding of recent water flows on Mars, demonstrating the planet still has liquid ... continue reading

Apple watch credited for saving teen's life Watch

Image of Paul Houle was saved by his Apple watch.


A Cape Cod, Massachusetts high school senior almost ran out of luck when he felt ill after a football practice last week. He experienced back and chest pains long after football practices ended and his heart rate seemed irregular. It was then the teen checked his pulse ... continue reading

All Technology News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Malachi 3:13-20
13 'You have said harsh things about me, says Yahweh. ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:5-13
5 He also said to them, 'Suppose one of you has a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 8th, 2015 Image

St. Pelagia
October 8: Pelagia, more often called Margaret, on account of the ... Read More