Cosmic ‘light saber’: Hubble Telescope Cosmic Light Saber
December 19, 2015 by staff
Cosmic ‘light saber’: Hubble Telescope Cosmic Light Saber, A young star’s golden “lightsaber” shoots into space 1,350 light-years from Earth in a new image released from the European Space Agency.
While the jets shooting from the star do appear to resemble a double-bladed lightsaber from Star Wars, there is actually a far more scientific explanation for the unusual appearance of this nascent star in the Milky Way.
The star’s jets of light are produced as the star feeds and shoots jets of “energized gas” in opposite directions from its poles, the European Space Agency (ESA) said in a statement.
“As they [the jets] stream away from one another at high speeds, supersonic shock fronts develop along the jets and heat the surrounding gas to thousands of degrees,” the ESA said.
The Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of a real-life cosmic lightsaber in a region of space called the Orion B molecular cloud complex within the Orion constellation.
The “tangled, knotted clumps of nebulosity” imaged by Hubble is known as a Herbig-Haro object, according to the ESA. Specifically, this Herbig-Haro object is named HH 24.
A few other stars are also shining in that part of space. Other bright pinpoints of light near the star are actually more stars, some with their own lightsabers, in the area, the ESA said.
“These are young stars peeking through and showing off their own faint lightsabers,” ESA added. “One hidden, cloaked source, only detectable in the radio part of the spectrum, has blasted a tunnel through the dark cloud in the upper left of the image.”
The Hubble telescope – jointly managed by NASA and ESA – has been beaming back amazing images like this from its post in space for 25 years.
For actual lightsabers, you can check out the new film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opens in the United States Friday.
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