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NASA Captures Gorgeous 'Cosmic Rose' In Berkley 59 Cluster (PICTURE)

Huffington Post    
First Posted: 05/17/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 04:50 PM ET

*See picture below*

NASA's WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) space telescope has turned up yet another stunning image that captures a star cluster NASA likens to a 'cosmic rosebud blossoming with new stars.'

The infrared image is of a grouping of young stars at the Berkeley 59 cluster, which is located around 3,300 light-years from Earth in the Cepheus constellation.

NASA highlights what's seen on the WISE image:

The stars, called the Berkeley 59 cluster, are the blue dots to the right of the image center. They are ripening out of the dust cloud from which they formed, and at just a few million years old, are young on stellar time scales.


The rosebud-like red glow surrounding the hot, young stars is warm dust heated by the stars. Green "leafy" nebulosity enfolds the cluster, showing the edges of the dense, dusty cloud. This green material is from heated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, molecules that can be found on Earth in barbecue pits, exhaust pipes and other places where combustion has occurred.

Check out more incredible photos from the sky-mapping spacecraft.

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