August 20, 2013

Telescope captures dramatic moment of starbirth

By Marcia Dunn / The Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — This is one baby picture you won't want to miss.

click image to enlarge

This image made available by the European Southern Observatory using radio and visible light frequencies shows the Herbig-Haro object HH 46/47. The orange and green, lower right, reveal a large energetic jet moving away from the Earth. To the left, in pink and purple, another jet is seen, streaming partly toward the Earth.

AP

click image to enlarge

This image made available by the European Southern Observatory shows the Herbig-Haro object HH 46/47 as jets emerge from a star-forming dark cloud. Astronomers say these illuminated jets are spewing out faster than ever measured before and are more energetic than previously thought.

AP

The ALMA telescope in Chile has captured a close-up of the glowing material spewing from a newborn star.

The stunning images show material streaming from the baby star at incredible speed, glowing as it plows into the surrounding gas and dust. Astronomers say these illuminated jets are spewing out faster than ever measured before and are more energetic than previously thought.

The glowing mass is called a Herbig-Haro object, named after U.S. and Mexican astronomers. This one is 1,400 light-years away in the constellation Vela.

ALMA actually consists of an array of 66 antennas and is relatively new. It's located in one of the driest places on Earth, the Atacama desert.

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