In a galaxy not too far away - actually, in ours - a star just tried to cosplay for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, the European Space Agency and NASA have found what they are calling a cosmic double-bladed lightsaber - one that, according to the agencies, resembles Darth Maul's weapon in Star Wars Episode I.
The image is actually of an adolescent star (obscured by dust) shooting "jets of energised gas from its poles" as the star forms.
And in case you were wondering, these gas blasts are "stronger than one from a fully armed and operational Death Star battle station," the space agencies said.
As the jets "stream away from one another at high speeds, supersonic shock fronts develop along the jets and heat the surrounding gas to thousands of degrees," clearing large areas of space as the jets collide with surrounding gas and dust.
The lightsber-toting star itself sits just over 1,350 light-years away in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter). You can see the full image of it here.
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Image credit: ESA/Hubble and NASA, D Padgett (GSFC), T Megeath (University of Toledo), and B Reipurth (University of Hawaii)
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