With its helical appearance resembling a snail’s shell, this reflection nebula seems to spiral out from a luminous central star in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image.
The star in the centre, known as V1331 Cyg and located in the dark cloud LDN 981 — or, more commonly, Lynds 981 — had previously been defined as a T Tauri star. A T Tauri is a young star — or Young Stellar Object — that is starting to contract to become a main sequence star similar to the Sun.
What makes V1331Cyg special is the fact that we look almost exactly at one of its poles. Usually, the view of a young star is obscured by the dust from the circumstellar disc and the envelope that surround it. However, with V1331Cyg we are actually looking in the exact direction of a jet driven by the star that is clearing the dust and giving us this magnificent view.
A bit more tweaking, thanks for feedback from spazz981 and ladytemeraire, including a side view of it when it’s shut so you can see how thin the pads (?) are and how they slide under each other while inactive/in travel mode.