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Thu Dec 20, 2012, 12:24 PM

WOW! Nasa's Hubble Telescope Presents 'Christmas Ornament' Festive Image  (Dialup Warning)




Observatories routinely release "holiday themed" heavenly photos come late December, and this time the Hubble Space Telescope bears good cheer for 2012 in the form of a cosmic Christmas ornament.

The Hubble photo depicts a planetary nebula that resembles a ribbon and glass bauble. While past holiday seasons have brought us a cosmic wreath, a nebula as snow-angel and an orb-like pulsar (spinning star) that resembles an ornament, this year's photo is a little more on the abstract side.

The central, circular shape of the nebula, called NGC 5189, can be seen as an ornament made of blown glass, and the reddish knotted structure that flows around the middle looks like a tangled ribbon that holds the ornament in place.

A planetary nebula is one of the last stages in the life of a mid-size star like our sun. The dying star sloughs off its outer layers and shoots them out into the universe, resulting in the "ribbon-like" filaments surrounding the middle of the star. At the center of the nebula is a densely packed white dwarf star whose mass is stuffed into a volume about the size of Earth, but the entire planetary nebula is the size of our solar system.

More, including a video about it:  http://www.space.com/18975-hubble-holiday-ribbon-nebula.html

11 replies, 2093 views

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply WOW! Nasa's Hubble Telescope Presents 'Christmas Ornament' Festive Image  (Dialup Warning) (Original post)
Turborama Dec 2012 OP
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #1
jsr Dec 2012 #2
DreamGypsy Dec 2012 #3
starroute Dec 2012 #4
Gruenemann Dec 2012 #5
Turborama Dec 2012 #6
warrior1 Dec 2012 #7
librechik Dec 2012 #9
Quantess Dec 2012 #8
WillyT Dec 2012 #10
Turborama Dec 2012 #11

Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 12:45 PM

1. Gorgeous! Thanks so much. n/t

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 12:46 PM

2. Wow is right.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 12:53 PM

3. Beautiful...but I think the 'ornament' is a bit of a stretch


Looks to me like a dragon emerging from a cosmic egg. To each their own!

btw. I am not a soldier in the war on Christmas

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 12:56 PM

4. Looks to me a lot more like a Chinese dragon

But maybe I'm just not into baubles...



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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 01:18 PM

5. I see a scowling skull.

Makes the Grumpy Kitty look downright cheerful.

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Response to Gruenemann (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 01:39 PM

6. I can see the skull, too.

Which makes it seem dark and disturbing.

But when looking back at it, it looks like light is emerging from it, which makes it cool again, lol.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 01:44 PM

7. beat me to it

I saw the skull first.

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Response to warrior1 (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:29 PM

9. me too--a wizard's skull!

oh well--skulls are Christmas-y too, right?

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:09 PM

8. Gorgeous!

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:32 PM

10. K & R !!! - Thank You For That !!!




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Response to WillyT (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:40 PM

11. And thank you

For the K & R !!!





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