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16 December 2011

Hubble Serves Up a Holiday Snow Angel


(Click on image for larger view.)

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.

To read more about this image go to: www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/snow-angel.html

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)