The Hubble telescope has peered deep into space and spotted shadows reaching out from a star and flickering, like the enormous wings of a gigantic cosmic bat. Mysteriously the cause of the “flapping” remains unconfirmed.

The spectacular celestial show is unfolding in a vast cloud of gas and dust 1,400 light-years away. The “bat’s wings” are caused by a disc of dust and gas around a young star called HBC 672.

Being around two million years old, the star is only a fledgling in astronomical terms, as most stars have been around for between one billion and 10 billion years.

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