WISE presents a cosmic wreath

December 23, 2011 By Whitney Clavin
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission presents the "Wreath nebula." Though this isn't the nebula's official name (it's actually called Barnard 3, or IRAS Ring G159.6-18.5), one might picture a wreath in these bright green and red dust clouds -- a ring of evergreens donned with a festive red bow, a jaunty sprig of holly, and silver bells throughout. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

(PhysOrg.com) -- Just in time for the holidays, astronomers have come across a new image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, that some say resembles a wreath. You might even think of the red dust cloud as a cheery red bow, and the bluish-white stars as silver bells.

This star-forming nebula is named Barnard 3. are being born throughout the dusty region, while the "silver bell" stars are located both in front of, and behind, the nebula.

The bright star in the middle of the red cloud, called HD 278942, is so luminous that it is likely causing most of the surrounding clouds to glow. The red cloud is probably made of dust that is more metallic and cooler than the surrounding regions.

The yellow-green region poking into the picture from the left like a sprig of holly is similar to the rest of the green "wreath" material, only more dense.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages and operates the Wide-field Explorer for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

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1 / 5 (5) Dec 23, 2011
Thanks for the story and the images.

Space images of Christmas figures each year at this time illustrate how easily the public can be manipulated by news stories that show just about anything, even contradictory findings:

a.) Global Warming Recently


b.) Global Cooling Earlier



c.) Economic Collapse Now


World leaders are still spending government resources on a.)

The public is increasingly aware that c.) is reality; a.) is false.

This divergence of opinions has produced a new issue:

d.) Loss of confidence in world leaders.

Despite these concerns, there is a message of Hope recorded in every atom leaf and rock:


Best wishes for the Holidays and the New Year!

Today all is well,
Oliver K. Manuel
1 / 5 (2) Dec 25, 2011
Merry Christmas to all!


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