A lightsaber from Star Warriors shining in a molecular cloud

A lightsaber from Star Warriors shining in a molecular cloud

No, this is not the image of Darth Maul with his double lightsaber from the movie “Star Wars Episode VII: Awakening of the Force”, this is a terrific image obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope, which shows an extremely energetic young star that ejects jets of plasma, illuminating clouds gas and dust.

Located at a distance of 1350 light years, this star is part of HH 24 - the Herbig-Aro object, which is located in the depths of a very active region of star formation, which is called “Orion Molecular Cloud Complex B”. In the center of HH 24 is a star with a swirling disk of hot material - a protoplanetary disk. This material, which originates in the star cloud, has the potential to form a system of planets. But before this happens, the star will recycle the disk material, spewing it back into space through the poles, generating powerful light fluxes from the overheated plasma.

Hubble displays the region in infrared light, which allows us to see the ejections of a star that otherwise would have been hidden from us. Other stars in this region also have similar jets, which makes HH 24 a region with the densest concentration of HH jets known in such a small region.

This image shows what HH 24 looks like from ground-based observatories in visible light.

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