Release 46 of 1,056
Hubble Sees the Force Awakening in a Newborn Star
Release date: Dec 17, 2015 10:00 AM (EST)
Hubble Sees the Force Awakening in a Newborn Star
Release type: Hubble Heritage

Just about anything is possible in our remarkable universe, and it often competes with the imaginings of science fiction writers and filmmakers. Hubble's latest contribution is a striking photo of what looks like a double-bladed lightsaber straight out of the Star Wars films. In the center of the image, partially obscured by a dark, Jedi-like cloak of dust, a newborn star shoots twin jets out into space as a sort of birth announcement to the universe. 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. Much more energetic than a science fiction lightsaber, these narrow energetic beams are blasting across space at over 100,000 miles per hour. This celestial lightsaber does not lie in a galaxy far, far away but rather inside our home galaxy, the Milky Way.

Release ID: STScI-2015-42
Release images (3)
Herbig-Haro Jet HH 24
Release videos (4)
Celestial Lightsabers: The Stellar Jets of HH 24 (3-D Fly, Short Version)

Credit: NASA and ESA

Acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)/Hubble-Europe (ESA) Collaboration, D. Padgett (GSFC), T. Megeath (University of Toledo), and B. Reipurth (University of Hawaii)