16/12/2011 09:49 GMT | Updated 16/12/2011 09:51 GMT

Hubble Finds 'Celestial Snow Angel' In Bipolar Star-Forming Region Sharpless 2-106

The nice thing about an infinite space such as, for instance, the one in which we live, is that you can find basically anything if you look hard enough.

To that end the Hubble Space Telescope often proves handy for discovering celestial objects shaped like everything from a sea horse, the letter X, tadpoles and flying saucers.

Since it's Christmas it seems appropriate that the ageing space camera turns its attention to finding seasonally-shaped nebulas.

Step forward Sharpless 2-106, aka the Celestial Snow Angel.

The bipolar star-forming region spotted by Hubble is actually two giant, super-hot streams of gas blasting outwards from a central star. But what it looks like is a beautiful, ghostly angel ring of dust and gas that expands outwards into a gentle hourglass.

You know, if you look really hard.

The image is credited to NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team. But we won't be happy until we see a galaxy shaped like Santa. Hubble, it's over to you.