I feel as though this image should be accompanied by the theme to Star Wars.
This is a Herbig-Haro object, a more than usually mundane name for something quite splendid. They're disturbances in the Force, um, patches of nebulosity caused by newborn stars.
The star causing all this mayhem is hidden in the cloud, but those long, lightsaber-like beams are jets of gas and dust that have fallen into the star and are blasted out along its axis of rotation.
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage (STScI / AURA) / Hubble-Europe Collaboration Acknowledgment: D. Padgett (GSFC), T. Megeath (University of Toledo), B. Reipurth (University of Hawaii)
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