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Discover the Dazzling ‘Christmas Tree Cluster’ of Stars in Space

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Source: Page Six

Just before the holiday festivities kicked off, NASA surprised everyone with a picture of a space scene that looked a whole lot like a Christmas tree. In this picture, there’s a bunch of stars, each one between one to five million years old. These stars are all lined up to make the shape of a bright green tree, shining with sparkling lights.

 

A Cosmic Christmas Greeting

A day before the celebrations, NASA shared this amazing photo on X along with a fun caption that goes, “It’s beginning to look a lot like the cosmos.” The place where these stars are hanging out is called NGC 2264, or the “Christmas tree cluster,” located in our Milky Way galaxy, about 2,500 light-years away. The stars in this cluster come in different sizes, from smaller than our sun to bigger, with some even seven times more massive than the sun.

The Science Behind the Celestial Glow

These young stars are like cosmic light shows. They give off something called X-rays, and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory can see them as blue and white lights. Imagine the gas around them as the needles on a Christmas tree – it makes the whole image glow green. By playing with colours and especially turning the image, NASA creates a fantastic display that looks just like a twinkling Christmas tree. It’s like a magical gift from space for the holiday season.

Chatter about Cosmic Wonders

NASA isn’t new to sharing incredible images. They once posted a picture of a storm on Jupiter that looked surprisingly like a face. Another time, they shared an image of a nebula, a space cloud, challenging what we know about where life comes from. People loved talking about these pictures. One person even shouted, “Happy Christmas from orbit!” Someone shared a moving version of the tree with blinking lights, saying, “Makes us feel like rockin’ around.” Others joined in, sharing pictures of cheerful Christmas trees.

“Merry Christmas from millions of light-years away – the Christmas Tree Cluster,” said a third person. Thousands of folks liked and commented on NASA’s post, with over 800 impressions. What caught your eye about this space Christmas tree? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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