In the video above, a star 20,000 light-years from Earth explodes, lighting up the surrounding interstellar dust to create a stunning light echo.
The video -- a time-lapse of images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope over a four-year period in the 2000s -- shows the sudden outburst of star V838 Monocerotis.
What makes this starburst especially awesome is that it remains a puzzle to astronomers. According to the Hubble website, scientists still don't fully understand why the stellar explosion occurred. Initially, they thought it was a nova, a relatively common outburst. But now they realize it was something quite different.
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