David Kirkpatrick

March 17, 2010

Beautiful space image — the Berkeley 59 cluster

Check this out

WISE Captures a Cosmic Rose

A new infrared image from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows a cosmic rosebud blossoming with new stars. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

From the link:

A new infrared image from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows a cosmic rosebud blossoming with new stars. 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.

Also hit the link for a much larger version of the image. I was going to run it here, but it’s a little too big for this blog’s format.