Ugh, I'm so sick of all the "Star Wars" tie-ins. Not everything has to be about "The Force Awakens"! But okay, space agencies. You win! I admit it. That star looks a lot like a lightsaber. Good job orchestrating the perfect cosmic event to catch the wave of "Star Wars" excitement. Ugh.
The image (from the Hubble) shows a newborn star swathed in a cloak of gas and dust. The molecular hydrogen circling the star is still feeding it and helping it grow, resulting in the escape of the superheated excess material forming the "lightsaber" in the image. These so-called Herbig–Haro (HH) objects form when the super-hot gas hits other gas and dust at super-high-speeds.
The small fry was born in the Orion B molecular cloud complex, an active star factory just 1,350 light-years from Earth. That's not very far (far) away - it's actually in our own galaxy.
Ugh, I'm sorry.
"Science fiction has been an inspiration to generations of scientists and engineers, and the film series Star Wars is no exception," John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said in a statement. “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."