The force awakens? With a little imagination, you can see a lightsaber in this week’s space photo.
In fact, what you’re seeing here is what’s called a Herbig-Haro object. Herbig-Haro objects are small emission nebulae around young stars, created by newly formed stars spewing gas. This ionized gas collides with clouds of other gas and dust in the environment at a speed of several hundred kilometers per second, creating these nebulae.
The satellite image of the week shows Herbig-Haro 111. Cosmic jet HH111 aligns with the axis of rotation of the young star in the center of the image. The image was taken with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3.
Hubble often captures Herbig-Haro objects, such as earlier this year. Then the space telescope detected stellar winds and cosmic jets from the star IX Ori. In 2013, Hubble discovered a variable star – V633 Cassiopeiae – that blows superheated gas into space on an assembly line. Two Herbig-Haro objects can be found near this star, HH161 and HH164. Together they create a sort of horseshoe-like shape.
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