Monday, December 26, 2011


The State Column - The commander of the International Space Station (ISS), peering out the multi-windowed Cupola observatory, has captured what is sure to be one of the most iconic images ever taken aboard the low-earth orbit science lab. The amazing images show Comet Lovejoy, which survived a trip through the sun’s atmosphere last week. 
The comet, which made its first appearance this year before plunging into the Sun, is being dubbed as a “Christmas comet” or even as the “Christmas star,” making reference to the star that greeted Jesus’ birth in the Nativity story.  It was discovered on 27 November by the Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy and was classified as a “Kreutz sungrazer”, with its orbit taking it very close to the Sun.

Here’s another seasonally appropriate find – perfect for the end of Christmas: The image - taken by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) - of a nebula about 1,000 light-years away, which definitely has some seasonally appropriate colors.  The nebula bears a strong resemblance to a Christmas wreath, right down to the colors.  The stars that look like little silver bells decorating the “wreath” are in fact located either in front of or behind the nebula from Earth’s perspective. The nebula itself is lit by a particularly bright star in the middle, and the ‘red’ dust cloud contains magnetic particles, while the ‘greenish’ parts of the cloud are the hotter portions where stars are being born.  The colors represent what WISE is seeing in different wavelengths in the infrared spectrum, which humans can’t see, NASA says.

In the spirit of the Christmas holidays, the International Space Station released an image of the Comet Lovejoy which truly becomes this year’s “Star of Wonder”.  NASA has also released a new image from its WISE space telescope of a nebula that seems to resemble a wreath: A ring of evergreens donned with a festive red bow, a jaunty sprig of holly, and silver bells throughout.  Just in time for the holidays, both interstellar pictures may be considered as God’s gifts to people of faith in this world.

When we consider the story of how baby Jesus appeared in the heart of his mother Mary by immaculate conception, as well as the bright star appearing in the night sky, we can discern a direct parallel to Lord Krishna’s birth three thousand years earlier in Vrindavana, India, as recorded in the Vedic literature. It is described in the ancient Vedic texts how Krishna appeared in the mind of Vasudeva, Krishna’s father, and was then transferred into the heart of His mother, Devaki. During Krishna’s birth, the bright star Rohini was high in the sky, and the king at the time, Kamsa, actually ordered the killing of all the infants in an attempt to kill Krishna, similar to the way Herod was supposed to have done as described in the gospel of Matthew. ... There are many other parallels that we could refer to that are disclosed in the Vedas, which were written many hundreds of years before the Bible.

Dr Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Christianity and the Vedic Teachings Within It”

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