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

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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!