Three: star

This is NGC 2644. Also known as the Christmas Tree cluster. Probably the most literal interpretation of the star I received in my advent calendar today. And it really is a very festive cluster.

According to my good friends at the European Southern Observatory, the Cone Nebula and the hot blue-looking stars which ornament the Christmas Tree cluster above it are part of the Monoceros unicorn constellation.

It’s a mere 2,600 light-years away from earth, meaning a trip to Chile to see it for yourself through the massive telescope at the La Silla Observatory.

It’s not just all in the name though – the bottom has been likened to Jesus with his hands in prayer…and at the top of this image, is that a reindeer I spy? Maybe I’m just reading into these things now.