This photo, captured by the NASA Hubble Space Telescope's (HST) Advanced Camera for Surveys, is Hubble's latest view of an expanding halo of light around the distant star V838 Monocerotis, or V Mon, caused by an unusual stellar outburst that occurred back in January 2002. A burst of light from the bizarre star is spreading into space and reflecting off of surrounding circumstellar dust. As different parts are sequentially illuminated, the appearance of the dust changes. This effect is referred to as a "light echo". Located about 20,000 light-years away in the winter constellation Monoceros (the Unicorn), the star brightened to more than 600,000 times our Sun's luminosity. The light echo gives the illusion of contracting, until it finally disappears by the end of the decade.