Advertisement

Drama of star's birth captured in images from telescope in Chile

ALMA observations (orange and green, lower right) of the newborn star reveal a large energetic jet moving away from us, which in the visible scectrum is hidden by dust and gas. To the left (in pink and purple) the visible part of the jet is seen, streaming partly towards us. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/ESO/H. Arce. Acknowledgements: Bo Reipurth
ALMA observations (orange and green, lower right) of the newborn star reveal a large energetic jet moving away from us, which in the visible scectrum is hidden by dust and gas. To the left (in pink and purple) the visible part of the jet is seen, streaming partly towards us. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/ESO/H. Arce. Acknowledgements: Bo Reipurth

MUNICH, Germany, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The birth of a star, recognized as an event involving extreme energies, may be even more energetic than previously thought, a telescope in Chile has revealed.

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or ALMA, operated by an international partnership, observed a young star about 1,400 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation of Vela ejecting material at high speed, causing surrounding gas to glow.

Advertisement

Such a glowing region of gas is known as a Herbig-Haro object, named after the first astronomers to extensively study them.

Alma observations of the object dubbed Herbig-Haro 46/47 revealed some of the ejected material had velocities much higher than had been measured before, suggesting outflowing gas from the developing star carries much more energy and momentum than previously thought.

"ALMA's exquisite sensitivity allows the detection of previously unseen features in this source, like this very fast outflow," research leader Hector Arce of Yale University said in a release from the headquarters of the European Southern Observatory in Munich, Germany.

The ALMA images reveal fine detail in two jets of ejected material, the researchers said, one coming toward Earth and one moving away, both at speeds higher than ever observed before.

"ALMA has made it possible to detect features in the observed outflow much more clearly than previous studies," Arce said.

Latest Headlines