Animation documents an explosion emanating from V838 Monocerotis
It was captured by Hubble and spans the period from 2002 and 2006
As it burst, V838 created a light echo that lit up the cosmic dust around it
Scientists still have no idea what caused the stellar explosion of V838
A stellar flash like this was unprecedented because supernovas typically expel matter out into space, often obscuring them from view
The majestic transformation of a star has been revealed in a stunning time-lapse of a stellar explosion 20,000 light years away.
The animation, spanning four years, documents a huge explosion emanating from V838 Monocerotis – a red star located in the constellation Monoceros.
Before it exploded, V838 had grown to become one of the largest stars ever observed by astronomers, producing 600,000 times more light than our own sun.