Space agency delivers Christmas greeting from outer space


The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand marked Christmas Day on Sunday with a photo of what it calls the “Christmas tree of the universe”.

The Christmas tree is actually a cluster of stars in the NGC 2264 region that form the shape of an upside-down Christmas tree.

"In this picture, the Christmas tree is upside down with a bright star above the cone nebula as the treetop," the institute said on its Facebook page. The blue gas on the top of the photo is nicknamed "fox fur nebula", it said.

"These objects are located in the Monoceros constellation, 2,600 light years away from Earth," the institute said.

A red light is emitted from the hydrogen alpha and the tree shape is formed by a cluster of stars. The cone-shaped gas on the bottom of the photo is called "cone nebula".

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