AAS 206th Meeting, 29 May - 2 June 2005
Session 28 Formation and Fate of Stardust
Topical Session, Tuesday, 8:30-10:00am, 10:45am-12:30pm, 2:30-4:00pm, 4:15-6:00pm, May 31, 2005, 102 C

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[28.11] V838 Mon: Observations of the Light Echo in Circumstellar Dust

S. Starrfield (ASU)

V838 Mon was a previously unknown variable star that was discovered in outburst early in 2002. It exhibited 3 peaks in its outburst and rapidly evolved to become an L Supergiant. Early spectra showed s-process elements and later infrared spectra showed VO, AlO, and other molecules implying that the ejected material was oxygen rich. A light echo was discovered in late February 2002 and observations with the ACS on HST have provided spectacular images as the light echo moved through a region of dust surrounding the outbursting star. While there is some controversy about whether or not dust formed in the ejected material of the current outburst, there is a dust shell surrounding this variable star. I briefly describe a worldwide campaign to study this variable in outburst and return to quiescence. I gratefully acknowledge partial support from grants to ASU from NSF, NASA, CHANDRA, and SPITZER.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: starrfield@asu.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #2
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.