Merry X-mas from NGC 2264!

It’s been an amazing first year for My Hubble Abode, and I wanted to share some Christmas-y astrophotography with all of you.

ESONGC2264
Image taken by ESO

Above is NGC 2264, within it is the Christmas Tree Cluster. The red dust sort of looks like a pine tree, with stars as baubles. At the very base of the tree is S Monocerotis, a large star over 200’000 times more luminous, and 10 times wider than the Sun!

800px-NGC_2264.jpg
Taken by NASA

In the infrared, however, NGC 2264 has another Christmas-y feature. This picture looks deeper into the object, revealing a large amount of newborn stars. These protostars are red, and their formation makes the small cluster look like a snowflake or pinwheel. Hence, this area of NGC 2264 is nicknamed the Snowflake Cluster!

 

This will be the last post of 2019 from me. We’ll be starting back up on the first Saturday next year. I hope you enjoy this Christmas, and have a happy new year!

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