For the Holidays...
Looking like a colorful holiday card, this image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveals a vibrant green and red nebula far from Earth, where nature seems to have put on the traditional colors of the season. These colors, produced by the light emitted by oxygen and hydrogen, help astronomers investigate the star-forming processes in nebulas such as NGC 2080. Nicknamed the "Ghost Head Nebula," NGC 2080 is one of a chain of star-forming regions lying south of the 30 Doradus nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud that have attracted special attention. These regions have been studied in detail with Hubble and have long been identified as unique star-forming sites. 30 Doradus is the largest star-forming complex in the whole local group of galaxies.
News story originally written on December 20, 2001
Other holiday happenings include Houston, mission control, being transformed to "Santa Control" this Christmas Eve. NASA spaceflight experts will help monitor Santa's speed and reindeer performance, helping Santa meet the extreme demands placed on him during this 24-hour period. "With three people living on the space station, we have a unique vantage point to help Santa on his rounds," said Matt Abbott, flight director. "We have Yury Onufrienko, Dan Bursch and Carl Walz on board the station ready to help us out with real-time Santa sightings, and our flight control team is ready for this opportunity." "Santa Control, Houston" will be shown on NASA Television during the NASA Video File December 24, which will air at noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. EST. NASA TV is available on GE2, transponder 9C. The frequency is 3880 MHz with an orbital position of 85 degrees West Longitude, with audio at 6.8 MHz.
All of us at Windows to the Universe would like to wish you a safe and peaceful holiday season.