Current Issue
April 2014 magazine cover
Subscribe

Save 81% off the newsstand price!

Picture of the Week—Christmas Tree Cluster

If it is clear out tonight, grab your binoculars or a telescope and look up at the constellation of Monoceros, the Unicorn. There you will find NGC 2264, a region of space that includes the Christmas Tree Cluster, named for its triangular shape (upside-down here) and sparkly blue stars. Astronomer ...

Christmas Tree Cluster, courtesy of ESO




If it is clear out tonight, grab your binoculars or a telescope and look up at the constellation of Monoceros, the Unicorn. There you will find NGC 2264, a region of space that includes the Christmas Tree Cluster, named for its triangular shape (upside-down here) and sparkly blue stars. Astronomer William Herschel first noticed the cluster January 18, 1784, and he catalogued the Cone Nebula—the triangular feature at the bottom—on December 26, 1785.



This photo was created from images taken at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.



Happy Holidays!
About Sarah Zielinski
Sarah Zielinski

Sarah Zielinski is an award-winning science writer and editor. She is a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.com and blogs at Wild Things, which appears on Science News.

Read more from this author |

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus