The Christmas tree in space is formed by young stars VIDEO – Space and astronomy – Ansa.it

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In space, a Christmas tree is decorated with twinkling colored lights: it’s the young star cluster NGC 2264, which NASA has rendered for the holidays by combining observations from different telescopes into a single composite image and animating it to great effect.

The star cluster NGC 2264 is located in the Milky Way, 2,500 light-years from Earth, and is made up of young stars that are one to five million years old: their sizes range from less than a tenth of the solar mass to seven solar masses. To emphasize the cluster’s resemblance to a real Christmas tree, NASA decided to create a composite image with ad hoc colors and rotation.

Blinking blue and white lights are young stars emitting Green, which resembles a needle, is due to the nebula’s gas, imaged by the National Science Foundation’s Wiyn Telescope at Kitt Peak Observatory, while the white dots are foreground and background stars captured in the infrared by Two Micron All Sky Survey.

The image was rotated clockwise about 160 degrees from the astronomical standard to make it appear as if the top of the tree was protruding upwards.

Reproduction reserved © Copyright ANSA

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