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2,500 light years from Earth: NASA shows spectacular 'Christmas tree' nebula (video)

2,500 light years from Earth: NASA shows spectacular 'Christmas tree' nebula (video) This is how 'cosmic' Christmas tree looks like (photo: Freepik)

NASA has revealed a cluster of young stars resembling a cosmic Christmas tree, located approximately 2,500 light-years from Earth, writes the Inverse magazine.

What is known about the cosmic Christmas tree

The "Christmas tree cluster" is known as NGC 2264. It consists of stars aged between 1 and 5 million years. Some of these celestial bodies have less than a tenth of the mass of the Sun, while others overshadow our main star with their significant sizes and can reach up to 7 solar masses.

The light visible in the cluster is X-ray radiation and infrared glow.

"This new composite image enhances the resemblance to a Christmas tree through choices of color and rotation," explained NASA.

The "tree" is made up of gas in the nebula. The WIYN National Science Foundation telescope in Arizona captured this glow. However, the cluster was "painted" in green to better fit the Christmas theme. The image was rotated vertically to resemble a tree.

In the video, synchronous flashes resembling Christmas lights are shown. Young stars do emit variable phenomena into space, such as flashes, but they are not synchronized. In the video, they were artificially synchronized to add a holiday effect.

The white lights in this image are stars shining in the infrared range.

The article highlights that such photo and video editing of star cluster images can contribute to the scientific literacy of the population by prompting people to learn more about the surrounding world. This can be an effective tool for spreading both astronomical knowledge and a festive mood.

Earlier, we wrote about scientists unexpectedly discovering an anomaly on the far side of the Moon.

Also, read about scientists predicting the demise of our planet - here's what its "last days" will be like.