No, it's not a bunch of z-list celebs wishing you seasons greetings in aid of their favourite charidee.
It's an actual angel in the stars. What better news item for all at Trebuchet Magazine to wish you a wonderful Christmas and an equally excellent New Year? Thanks for reading, and best wishes from us.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope presents a festive holiday greeting. The bipolar star-forming region, called Sharpless 2-106, looks like a soaring, celestial angel. The outstretched “wings” of the nebula record the contrasting imprint of
heat and motion against the backdrop of a colder medium.
A massive, young star, IRS 4 (Infrared Source 4), is responsible for the furious activity we see in the nebula. Twin lobes of super-hot gas, glowing blue in this image, stretch outward from the central star. This hot gas creates the “wings” of our angel.
A ring of dust and gas orbiting the star acts like a belt, cinching the expanding nebula into an “hourglass” shape. Hubble’s sharp resolution reveals ripples and ridges in the gas as it interacts with the cooler interstellar medium.
Dusky red veins surround the blue emission from the nebula. The faint light emanating from the central star reflects off of tiny dust particles. This illuminates the environment around the star, showing darker filaments of dust winding beneath the blue lobes.
The Hubble images were taken in February 2011 with the Wide Field Camera 3. Visible narrow-band filters that isolate the hydrogen gas were combined with near-infrared filters that show structure in the cooler gas and dust.