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Baby Star Birth Captured by Powerful Telescope in Chile

Image: Baby Star Birth Captured by Powerful Telescope in Chile

By Michael Mullins   |   Wednesday, 21 Aug 2013 06:34 AM

The birth of a baby star was captured by a powerful telescope in Chile recently, showing a stream of glowing material spew from celestial object at incredible speed.

The star, which is called a Herbig-Haro object – after U.S. and Mexican astronomers – is 1,400 light-years away in the constellation Vela, The Associated Press reported.

According to astronomers, the illuminated jets shooting out from the newborn star are spreading with more energy than previously thought.

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"The detail in the Herbig-Haro 46/47 images is stunning," ALMA Observatory's Stuartt Corder said in a press release. "Perhaps more stunning is the fact that, for these types of observations, we really are still in the early days. In the future ALMA will provide even better images than this in a fraction of the time."

The ALMA, which stands for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, is an international astronomy facility, in which astronomers from North America, Europe, and East Asia cooperate with the Republic of Chile to explore space.

"ALMA's exquisite sensitivity allows the detection of previously unseen features in this source, like this very fast outflow," team leader H├ęctor Arce, of Yale University, added in the press release. "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."

The telescope consists of an array of 66 antennas and is located in one of the driest places on Earth, the Atacama dessert. Despite becoming fully operational this past March, the ALMA telescope began making scientific observations towards the end of 2011.

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