NASA's Hubble Telescope Spots Cosmic 'Lightsaber'

Hubble finds "The Force" in a newborn star.

ByAlyssa Newcomb
December 18, 2015, 9:46 AM
PHOTO:This celestial lightsaber does not lie in a galaxy far, far away, but rather inside our home galaxy, the Milky Way. It's inside a turbulent birthing ground for new stars known as the Orion B molecular cloud complex, located 1,350 light-years away.
This celestial lightsaber does not lie in a galaxy far, far away, but rather inside our home galaxy, the Milky Way. It's inside a turbulent birthing ground for new stars known as the Orion B molecular cloud complex, located 1,350 light-years away.
ESA/NASA

— -- Clearly some of the scientists at NASA have "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" on their minds.

A photo taken by NASA's Hubble telescope released this week shows what the space agency says looks a lot like a real-life cosmic lightsaber in our own galaxy.

NASA said the image shows a newborn star with twin jets shooting out into the Milky Way. The newborn star is located 1,350 light years away from Earth.

While "Star Wars" fans may see a double-bladed lightsaber, there's a real-life explanation for what's happening.

"Gas from a surrounding disk rains down onto the dust-obscured protostar and engorges it. The material is superheated and shoots outward from the star in opposite directions along an uncluttered escape route -- the star's rotation axis," the Hubble team said in a blog post. And that's how the lightsaber effect is created.

Elsewhere in space, astronauts at the International Space Station are patiently waiting for their chance to watch the latest "Star Wars" installment.

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