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