Asymmetrical Planetary Nebulae VI conference date:4-8 November, 2013
It is not an understatement to say that V838 Mon is one heck of an enigmatic object. It underwent a powerful eruptive outburst in Jan. 2002, increasing in luminosity by a factor of 100 over a period of 3 months. Immediately following this event, a spectacular light echo was formed from the outburst light reflecting off the surrounding dust; this has been beautifully followed by Hubble Space Telescope imaging. What makes V838 Mon an unusual star is that the outburst is not of any type heretofore seen. The theories that best explain the outburst are a giant star engulfing a planetary system, or a merger between two low-mass stars. To date, observations have shown that the envelope of the star expanded in response to the stellar impact, and than it may now be beginning to contract. Many O-bearing molecules, dust, an SiO maser and possibly a jet have been observed from the star. Spitzer imaging has shown dust surrounding the star, and has shown that new dust was forming right around the star itself. We obtained Herschel (SPIRE, PACS, and HIFI) data on V838 Mon, with the aim of seeing what was going on with the dust forming around the star, and to see if this new dust, and the older surrounding dust, were changing with time. We also wanted to see what was happening in the expanded stellar atmosphere. In this poster we present our results.