Hubble Space Telescope Snowman Nebula Star
The Hubble Space Telescope may be sidelined right now due to some possible hardware issues, but this festive image that it captured of the Snowman Nebula is just in time for the holidays. This emission nebula is located in the constellation Puppis, approximately 6,000 light-years away from Earth. What causes the nebula’s glass to glow? It’s due to the nebulae diffusing clouds of gas that have become so charged by the energy of nearby massive stars that they glow with their own light. Read more for another picture and additional information.


Hubble Space Telescope Snowman Nebula Star
If you’re trying to view the Snowman Nebula from a telescope on Earth, it would appear as a dual-lobed ball of gas, but this Hubble image shows the details of sweeping curves of bright gas and dark knots of dust in a small section of the nebula. It’s officially called Sharpless 2-302, since the nebula was compiled by astronomer Stewart Sharpless as he sought to identify areas of interstellar ionized hydrogen.

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This image was captured as part of a survey of massive- and intermediate-size ‘protostars,’ or newly forming stars. Astronomers used the infrared sensitivity of Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 to look for hydrogen ionized by ultraviolet light from the protostars, jets from the stars, and other features,” said NASA.

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