NASA unveils beautiful image of Christmas Tree-like cluster of stars – Times of India

NASA unveils beautiful image of Christmas Tree-like cluster of stars - Times of India

Just days before the holiday festivities, NASA has unveiled a photo of a celestial figure that looks a lot like a Christmas tree. The image captures a cluster of stars, between one and five million years old, arranged in a vibrant, green tree-like pattern, adorned with glowing lights.
The space agency shared the adorable photo on X on Tuesday, with the caption, “It’s starting to look a lot like the universe,” referencing a popular Christmas carol.

Officially designated as NGC 2264, the “Christmas Tree Cluster” is located about 2,500 light-years away in our Milky Way Galaxy. Stars within this formation vary in size, some smaller than the Sun and others seven times its mass.

These young stars emit X-rays, visible as blue and white light detectable by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. The green light in the image is due to the presence of gas in the nebula, which acts as the pine needles of a metaphorical “tree”.

The resulting composite image creates a presentation of bright lights, resembling a glowing Christmas tree when enhanced with certain colors and viewed at a certain rotation. This celestial display adds a touch of wonder to the holiday season.

This is not the first time that NASA has tweeted an image reminiscent of Earth artifacts. Earlier, the space agency shared a photo of one of Jupiter’s storms, which resembled a face. Even earlier, NASA posted an image of a nebula that captivated minds, challenging conventional ideas about the origin of life and displaying a spectacular nebula-like object.

Mesmerized by the photo, users started sharing their thoughts. “Merry Christmas from space! There’s even an animated version,” said one user, along with a GIF of a tree decorated with twinkling lights. Another user expressed, “We feel like we’re hanging out,” and shared a photo of a festive Christmas tree.

A third user said, “Merry Christmas from millions of light years away – Christmas tree cluster.” NASA’s post has received over 800 impressions and thousands of likes and comments. What aspects of this Christmas tree caught your attention? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Bengaluru sparkles with India's tallest Christmas tree to celebrate Christmas, New Year.
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