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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has photographed what looks like a cosmic, double-bladed lightsaber. 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.
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.
The prominent HH object shown in this image is HH 24. Overall, just a handful of HH jets have been spotted in this region in visible light, and about the same number in the infrared. Hubble's observations for this image were performed in infrared light, which enabled the telescope to peer through the gas and dust cocooning the newly forming stars and capture a clear view of the HH objects inside. Learn more at HubbleSite's NewsCenter.