NASA releases images of 'Star Wars' styled 'cosmic' lightsaber

By @Guneet_B on
NASA lightsaber
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. NASA/ESA

With the much-awaited seventh instalment of the "Star Wars" film franchise, “The Force Awakens,” hitting the theatres, NASA made sure that it did not miss out on the buzz.

The scientists at NASA claim to have spotted a huge lightsaber in an area where new stars are formed. According to the scientists, the vaguely "Star Wars" themed image shows a bright celestial object passing through dark space clouds.

“In the centre 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,” a NASA official stated in a press statement.

The space agency said that the Hubble telescope had seen "what looks like a cosmic, double-bladed lightsaber." The cosmic lightsaber was photographed inside a turbulent birthing ground for new stars known as the Orion B molecular cloud complex, situated nearly 1,350 light years away in the Milky Way.

NASA further explained that when a new star is formed within giant clouds of cool molecular hydrogen, some of the surrounding material collapses under gravity to form flattened disk encircling the newly formed star. The excess superheated material is thrown along an escape route, thus giving it a lightsaber-like appearance.

Hubble captured the image in infrared. That is, it could visualise the bright material as it escapes out of the disc surrounding the new star. With the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, which has a far better infrared vision than the Hubble Telescope, NASA hopes to study in detail the dust that surrounds the new stars as they form.

Meanwhile, the cosmic lightsaber image received mixed responses from social media users. While some appreciated its beauty, others believe that it looks nothing like a Jedi lightsaber.

"Dear NASA. We like science. We like information. We don't have to be sold on it using pop culture references,” commented Facebook user Isobelle Fox, reports CNN.

"Maybe you should hire astronomers and not scifi nerds," said Twitter user @Pazzjurist.

Contact the writer at feedback@ibtimes.com.au, or let us know what you think below.