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  • Mona Evans

    Bright stars outline the familiar shape of the Christmas Tree Cluster in this visible-light image, which has been rotated 180°. Another famous structure, called the Cone Nebula, sits atop the tree. It's located in the constellation Monoceros. (Image: NOAO/AURA/NSF) Mona Evans "Monoceros the Unicorn"

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Our eyes are as beautiful as the galactic nebulae. We're part of the universe as much as the universe is part of us.

Star-Forming Region NGC 3603 (NASA, ESA, R. O'Connell, the WFC3 Science Oversight Committee, and the Hubble Heritage Team).

NGC 6188 is an emission nebula located about 4,000 light years away in the constellation Ara. The bright open cluster NGC 6193, visible to the naked eye, is responsible for a region of reflection nebulosity within NGC 6188.

NGC 2264 contains the Christmas Tree Cluster and the Cone Nebula. (They're at the top of the picture.) (Credit: J-P Metasavainio) Mona Evans, "Christmas in the Skies" www.bellaonline.c...

CfA astronomers used the Submillimeter Array to probe the transition disk around Sz 91, finding find that it is more like a ring than a disk and that the mass of the disk is about the same as the mass of Jupiter.

Ground-Based Image of Carina Nebula (NGC 3372)

The Witch Head Nebula. It glows from light reflected from bright supergiant Rigel - Orion's left foot! Although Rigel is blue, the nebula is blue because the dust tends to absorb the red part of the light and reflect the blue. (Image: George Greany)

What could cause a nebula to appear square? No one is quite sure. The hot star system known as MWC 922, however, appears to be embedded in a nebula with just such a shape.

Hubble's Variable Nebula (NGC 2261) - Named for American astronomer Edwin P Hubble, this nebula is lit by the star R Monocerotis, bottom of nebula, in the constellation Monoceros (Greek : unicorn). There is probably a symmetrical counterpart of the fan-shape on the southern side of the star, but it is heavily obscured from view by dust lying between this lobe and our line of sight

Open star cluster Messier 50 Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope / Coelum

Blue snowball nebula (NGC7662). A planetary nebula in the constellation Andromeda. The nebula was formed by the aging central star losing its outer layers of atmosphere. (Image credit & copyright: Chris Vedeler) Mona Evans, "Galactic Winter Games" www.bellaonline.c...