In celebration of Shark Week, NASA released a stunning image of the Rosette Nebula that resembled a great white shark with its mouth open. The image was taken by the agency’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

NASA’s latest image taken by Chandra shows the star formation region known as the Rosette, which is located about 5,000 light-years from Earth. The photo shows a nursery that contains hundreds of young stars at the circular center of the region.

The cluster of young stars is bordered by massive clouds of dust and gas as well as the galaxy NGC 2237, which is located at the right side of the image. Previously, only 36 stars were identified in NGC 2237 but through Chandra’s X-ray and other technical capabilities, this number has increased to 160.

According to scientists, the formation of the star cluster at the center of the image triggered the nebula’s expansion. This then led to the formation of various clusters surrounding it including NGC 2237.

NASA shared the image taken by Chandra via Twitter and noted that the nebula looks like a shark with its mouth open. It resembles images of great white sharks as they charge forward to attack their prey.

The space agency recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Chandra Observatory. Aside from the latest image of the Rosette Nebula, NASA also released a new gallery featuring the other beautiful photos taken by the satellite. These include the remnants of a supernova, a galaxy that contains a star-forming region, the center of the Milky Way galaxy and a colossal system that was formed due to the collision of two galaxy clusters.

According to Paul Hertz, the director of astrophysics at NASA, ever since the official launch of Chandra on July 23, 1999, the satellite has been providing valuable information regarding the various cosmic bodies in space.

“In this year of exceptional anniversaries – 50 years after Apollo 11 and 100 years after the solar eclipse that proved Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity – we should not lose sight of one more,” he said in a statement.

“Chandra was launched 20 years ago, and it continues to deliver amazing science discoveries year after year,” Hertz added.

Rosette Nebula
The Rosette Nebula is a star-forming region about 5,000 light years from Earth. NASA/CXC/SAO