Saturday, December 24, 2005

Just in Time for the Holidays: Christmas Tree Cluster in Space

Around 3,000 light years from Earth in the constellation Monoceros the Unicorn is a brightly lit cloud of nebular material stretched across space like an ornamental Christmas tree.
Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, working with the Spitzer Space Telescope recently shot the best-ever photos of the celestial phenomenon. Amateur astronomers call it the "Christmas Tree" cluster because it appears as a miniature triangular Christmas tree-like image in their small telescopes.
The Spitzer cameras allow for vibrant images of ribbons of glowing dust stretching out and between the newborn stars, producing spectacular views the likes of which have never been seen before....

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