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Taking pictures as a star is born

As a new star forms, it spews massive jets of gas. Now we have the baby pictures.

"Young stars are violent objects that eject material at speeds as high as one million kilometres per hour," explains a press release. "When this material crashes into the surrounding gas it glows, creating a Herbig-Haro object."

The new photo above—taken by the world's largest astronomical project, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile—shows a baby star called Herbig-Haro 46/47, about 1,400 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation of Vela. A team led by Héctor Arce, assistant professor of astronomy at Yale, describes it in the Astrophysical Journal.

"ALMA's exquisite sensitivity allows the detection of previously unseen features in this source, like this very fast outflow," Arce says. "It also seems to be a textbook example of a simple model where the molecular outflow is generated by a wide-angle wind from the young star."



Filed under astronomy, Héctor Arce
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