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NASA's Hubble Telescope Discovers A Celestial 'Lightsaber' Created By A Newborn Star

18/12/2015 12:29 GMT | Updated 18/12/2015 12:59 GMT

NASA has fully embraced the power of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with this stunning new picture taken courtesy of the Hubble Space Telescope.

celestial lightsaber

OK so what you're looking at isn't from a galaxy far far away, in fact it's within our very own Milky Way. The celestial 'lightsaber' is created when a new star forms and starts shooting out jets of matter.

Hidden behind a cloud of gas is the star itself, surrounding by what will surely be a large disc of swirling matter. As the disc increases small planets will begin to form within.

hubble

Not long after and the star will have the makings of a solar system not unlike our own with planets, asteroid fields and gas giants.

Located some 1,350 light-years away there's no chance of seeing this up close, but what might look like something rare is simply the first step that every star goes through before its creation.

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“Science fiction has been an inspiration to generations of scientists and engineers, and the film series Star Wars is no exception,” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator for the NASA Science Mission directorate.

“There is no stronger case for the motivational power of real science than the discoveries that come from the Hubble Space Telescope as it unravels the mysteries of the universe."

james webb telescope

Hubble has been orbiting the Earth for 25 years capturing some of our most stunning images of space. NASA soon hopes to replace with the massive James Webb Space Telescope which should be able to capture the stars with greater clarity and cut through much of the infrared interference that has been proving so troublesome for Hubble's ageing optics.