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The View from Space

V838 Monocerotis

This image provided by NASA shows the light echo around the variable star V838 Monocerotis taken by the Hubble Space Telescope released Saturday Oct. 27, 2006. The unusual variable star V838 Monocerotis continues to puzzle astronomers. This previously inconspicuous star underwent an outburst early in 2002, during which it temporarily increased in brightness to become 600 000 times more luminous than our Sun. Signs are promising for a repair of the aging but popular Hubble Space Telescope, once thought doomed because of worries over astronaut safety. The decision rests with NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, who hasn't yet made up his mind, NASA spokesman Dean Acosta said Friday in an e-mail. An announcement on the decision is expected Tuesday. (AP PHoto/NASA)

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