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I've just started playing Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, and I ran into this glowing yellow star in the first world.

ITSP1

When I approach it, it expands and turns into this:

ITSP2

I can fly in and out of it, but neither of the tools I have at my disposal seem to have any effect on it. These are what I currently have:

ITSP3

Are these the artifacts that I'm supposed to be looking for or are they a key to some puzzle in this world or what?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Those act as checkpoints.

Each time you fly into one, your health (which is shown by wear and tear on your ship) will be refilled, and your current progress will be saved.

It will also act as a protective barrier, should enemies try to attack you while you're inside. Enemies who deal damage by flying directly into you will be disintegrated.

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