In this picture of a part of the so-called Christmas tree cluster from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, newborn stars concealed behind dense dust are visible.
The newly discovered child stars appear toward the middle as pink and red patches and appear to have evolved in a formation resembling the spokes of a wheel or the pattern of a snowflake at regular intervals along linear structures. Astronomers have also called this cluster the’ snowflake cluster.’
Star-forming clouds like this one are systems that are complex and changing. Scientists say they are newborn stars or “protostars.” since the stars trace the rectilinear pattern of the spokes of a wheel.
These young systems have yet to “crawl” away from their birthplace at just 100,000 years of age. In time, this order will be disrupted by each star’s natural drifts, and the snowflake pattern will no longer exist.
Although most of the stars visible in visible light that give the name and triangular shape to the Christmas tree cluster do not shine brightly in the infrared eyes of Spitzer, all the stars that form from this dusty cloud are considered part of the cluster.
Spitzer also illuminates the optically dark and dense Cone Nebula, the tip of which can be seen in the lower left corner of the picture, just like a dusty cosmic finger pointing upward towards the newborn star clusters.