Just in time for the holiday season: A snow angel in floating in space.
Astronomers released the image Thursday of a nebulla that resembles the holiday symbol, captured by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The name: A clunky Sharpless 2-106, but no matter, officials tied the wispy to the holiday season anyway.
Hubble serves up a holiday snow angel, reads the announcement from the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md.
The snow angel is actually a nebula lies 2,000 light-years from Earth in the Milky Way, astronomers said Thursday.
The annual holiday-themed space picture this year led to an actual discovery.
As a bonus, astronomers looking at the picture made a new discovery about supernovae progenitor stars (which will be reported next month), Ray Villard, spokesman for the institute, wrote in an email.
In 2010, the holiday picture was a supernova bubble shaped like a crystal ornament, Villard said.
Finding other holiday themed objects in space is like looking for animals in cloud formations. Two years ago we issued a colorful star cluster at Xmas and I saw both a Xmas tree and dradle in it (depending on how you oriented the picture), he wrote. There are any number of other themes one could look for, 4th of July fireworks are easy to find!