Watch: Hubble Captures "Celestial Lightsabers" in a Star Birthing Ground

Thursday, 17 December 2015 - 11:46AM
Space
Astronomy
Space Imagery
Thursday, 17 December 2015 - 11:46AM
Watch: Hubble Captures "Celestial Lightsabers" in a Star Birthing Ground
With the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming tomorrow (or tonight, depending on where you are), even NASA is getting into the Star Wars spirit. Hubble recently caught stunning imagery of a newborn star shooting off twin jets of superheated material that looks suspiciously like a double-bladed lightsaber:



These "celestial lightsabers," as NASA is calling them, are emitted from a new star in a chaotic star birthing ground called the Orion B molecular cloud complex, 1,350 light-years away from Earth. During the process of star formation, which takes place within huge clouds of cool hydrogen, the gravitational pull causes some of the surrounding material to collapse into a spinning disk around the star. The protostar then feeds on the disk until some of the material becomes superheated and is violently discharged in opposite directions.

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"Science fiction has been an inspiration to generations of scientists and engineers, and the film series Star Wars is no exception," said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator for the NASA Science Mission directorate, in a statement. "There is no stronger case for the motivational power of real science than the discoveries that come from the Hubble Space Telescope as it unravels the mysteries of the universe."
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Science
NASA
Space
Astronomy
Space Imagery

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