With Star Wars: The Force Awakens new officially awake, even NASA is getting in on the fun.
The space agency has released a gorgeous photo showing what they describe as a “cosmic, double-bladed lightsaber” captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. The description of the image notes that, in the center 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 bit of a stretch, sure, but still some nice space porn.
“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.”
Sadly, you can put aside your jokes about a galaxy far, far away. The “lightsaber” is located within the Milky Way, inside a turbulent birthing ground for new stars known as the Orion B molecular cloud complex, located 1,350 light-years away.