December 16th, 2011
09:50 AM ET

Hubble Serves Up a Holiday Snow Angel

"The bipolar star-forming region, called Sharpless 2-106, looks like a soaring, celestial snow angel. The outstretched "wings" of the nebula record the contrasting imprint of heat and motion against the backdrop of a colder medium. 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."

Source: NASA

Filed under: Light up the screen
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. James Ph. Kotsybar

    NEBULAE
    - James Ph. Kotsybar

    The remnants of supernovae disperse
    behemoth art, when stars annihilate.
    “Sombrero”, “Crab” and “Horseshead” populate
    the gallery of our known universe.
    There’s “Ant,” “Tarantula”, and Pelican.”
    There’s “Eagle” and “Pillars Of Creation,”
    and even one called “Big Running Chicken.”
    One slightly resembles our great nation.
    These interstellar Rorschach tests reveal
    the shapes we recognize within our world,
    like “Hamburger,” “Butterfly” and “Pinwheel,”
    but they are the guts of stars that are hurled.

    Each may have destroyed some sentient race,
    but, “Look! It’s like a snow angel in space!”

    December 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Ella Gale

      As humans, we are limited by what we think we know, by what we have been taught, by what we have experienced. Like toddlers who call all men "Daddy," we do not have the information/understanding to understand the scope of what we are observing, and so use the mere shape of an outline to name a phenomenon beyond our imagination. Ironically, this time we use an image of icy cold to name something of the most intense heat. Scary.

      Loved the poem.

      ella

      December 28, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
  2. Zaphod Beeblebrox

    How froody.

    December 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  3. ChristianBot

    Thie article is proof of God.
    :::end theological debate sequence:::

    December 16, 2011 at 11:34 am |

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