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                                                  Circular No. 8036
Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
Mailstop 18, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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     D. P. K. Banerjee and N. M. Ashok, Physical Research
Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, report J-band imaging and near-
infrared spectroscopy at 1.08-2.35 microns, with the Mt. Abu 1.2-m
telescope (+ PRL Near Infrared Imaging Spectrometer + HgCdTe
NICMOS3 detector array) of V838 Mon.  J-band images taken on Dec.
14 clearly detect a faint shell around V838 Mon (seen earlier only
in the optical).  The shell (diameter approximately 60") is fairly
spherical but more extended in the east-west direction.  The
brightest J-band feature is an enhanced bar structure seen in the
north-west direction.  JHK spectroscopy (resolution about 1000)
confirms earlier reports (IAUC 8016) that the near-infrared
spectrum of V838 Mon has evolved significantly.  The previously
reported absorption bands at 1.23, 1.25, 1.65, and 1.69 microns and
the first-overtone CO bands have persisted and are prominently seen
during three recent observations (Nov. 20, Dec. 7, 13).  The H-band
absorption features are especially strong, while the CO band
structure is rather similar to its appearance during the second
outburst of V838 Mon on 2002 Feb. 2 (Banerjee and Ashok 2002, A.Ap.
395, 161).

                      (C) Copyright 2002 CBAT
2002 December 20               (8036)            Daniel W. E. Green

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