The holidays are coming and since that means entire cities will be decked in decorations, the Hubble team hoped to join the party and bring something original to it, a spectacular-looking photo of a nearby planetary nebula.NASA believed the photo was festive enough for the season and it's certainly one of the most beautiful things you'll see in nature.
The photo in question shows NGC 5189, a planetary nebula just 1,800 light-years away, relatively close by. What you're seeing is sulfur, hydrogen and oxygen atoms expelled from the center star, HD 117622, which glow in the radiation coming from the same star.
Planetary nebulae, despite their name, have nothing to do with planets. They're the remnants of a Sun-like star that collapsed on itself, while blowing off huge amounts of material nearer to the surface.