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NASA shares stunning image of cosmic 'holiday wreath'

Happy holidays from space.


The holidays are getting festive in space too.

As Christmas trees and seasonal lights glimmer here on Earth, NASA released a picture of the sparkling star RS Puppis at the center of a magical swirl of reflective dust clouds. The ethereal image, snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope, looks kind of like a holiday wreath made of glittering lights. The kind of wreath you can't buy at Walmart.

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RS Puppis, which belongs to a class of so-called Cepheid variable stars, brightens and dims over a six-week cycle. The star is located about 6,500 light-years away and measures 10 times larger than the sun, NASA says, with an average intrinsic brightness 15,000 times greater.

And clearly a holiday spirit to match. 

Hubble is the gift that never stops giving. Among a string of striking images, it recently delivered one of what appeared to be a grinning face in space, giving space watchers another thing to smile about in a year of astronomy milestones