Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, B. Nisini
This striking image features a relatively rare celestial phenomenon known as a Herbig-Haro object.
This particular object, named HH111, was imaged by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).
These spectacular objects develop under very specific circumstances. Newly formed stars are often very active, and in some cases they expel very narrow jets of rapidly moving ionized gas – gas that is so hot that its molecules and atoms have lost their electrons, making the gas highly charged.
The streams of ionized gas then collide with the clouds of gas and dust surrounding newly formed stars at speeds of hundreds of miles per second.
It is these energetic collisions that create Herbig-Haro objects such as HH111.