Daily Telescope: Colorful Christmas tree in the night sky

Zoom in / New image of NGC 2264, also known as the “Christmas Tree Cluster”.

NASA et al. the.

Welcome to Daily Telescope. There is too little darkness in this world and not enough light, too little pseudoscience and not enough science. We’ll let the other posts provide your daily horoscope. At Ars Technica, we’ll take a different route, finding inspiration from very real images of a universe full of stars and wonders.

Good morning. It’s December 20, and today’s image shows two astronomical objects — the Cone Nebula and the Christmas Tree Cluster — known together as NGC 2264. (NGC, by the way, stands for New General Catalog of Nebulae and Star Clusters).

These astronomical objects are found about 2,300 light-years from Earth, and because they are relatively close, they are popular astronomical objects to observe in the night sky. This is a composite image from NASA and other organizations that combines observations from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory along with those from ground-based telescopes. The image has been rotated clockwise by 160 degrees so that the “Christmas tree” appears standing.

So yeah, if you look up at the night sky, that’s not what you see. But even astronomers like to celebrate Christmas, you know?

Happy holidays everyone. I’ll be back with one last photo on Thursday before I take time off.

source: NASA et al. the.

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