05/12/2010 11:16 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

New Hole In Space Spotted By Herschel Telescope (PICTURE)

The Herschel telescope has discovered what the European Space Agency describes as a "hole" in space.

The hole is visible in the image below. The dark area to the bottom right of the nebula NGC 1999 (the greenish cloud in the top left of the picture) was originally believed to be just a cloud of dust and gas.

However, Herschel's imagery revealed additional information about the spot, which indicates that it is actually a hole that "has been blown in the side of NGC 1999 by the jets and winds of gas from the young stellar objects in this region of space," according to the ESA.

The discovery offers new insight into how stars are formed.

"No one has ever seen a hole like this," said a member of the study team, Tom Megeath, of the University of Toledo in Ohio. "It's as surprising as knowing you have worms tunneling under your lawn, but finding one morning that they have created a huge, yawning pit."

Image Credit: ESA/HOPS Consortium

See more space photos:
Extraordinary images of Mars.
Incredible pictures from NASA's sky-mapping spacecraft
NASA's pictures of stars
Photos of Kilimanjaro, Haiti, the Maldives, and more taken from space (and tweeted by astronaut Soichi Noguchi)
A black hole "simulator" takes you inside the black hole