Feeds

Mighty multi-scope snaps stunning STARBIRTH image

66 antennas up to 16km apart capture celestial violence 1400 years ago

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Astronomers using the immense and astonishingly perceptive Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have captured a stunning image of the miracle of birth – starbirth, that is.

Herbig-Haro 46/44 as imaged by ALMA

Herbig-Haro 46/44 as imaged by ALMA (click to enlarge)

Starbirth – a violent affair – results in the stellar babe ejecting materials at exceptionally high velocities of as much as one million kilometers per hour. In the case of the object viewed by Héctor Arce of Yale University and his international team, the birth is taking place about 1,400 light years away in the southern constellation of Vela.

When the ejecta smash into the starbirth's surrounding gas, it glows, creating what's known as a Herbig-Haro object. Arce's study of this particular object, HH 46/44, revealed two jets of materials, one aimed at Earth and another aimed away.

The team's observations were carried out by ALMA from December 28, 2011 to January 25, 2012, while the telescope was still under construction (it went fully online in March of this year), but the intensive data analysis and imaging was not completed until recently. The image of HH 46/44 was published along with a press release from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) on Tuesday, and the findings are described in a paper to be published in the Astrophysical Journal snappingly entitled "ALMA Observations of the HH 46/47 Molecular Outflow".

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) by night, under the Magellanic Clouds

ALMA by night, under the Magellanic Clouds (click to enlarge)

The 66 radio telescopes that comprise ALMA are located at the Llano de Chajnantor Observatory in the Chilean Andes, perched at 16,500 feet in the ridiculously arid Atacama Desert. How arid is ridiculously arid? Well, there are some stretches of the desert where not even a single drop of rain has ever been recorded. This aridity is key not only to precise visible-light observations, since water vapor distorts imaging, but also to ALMA's submillimeter operation, seeing as how water vapor absorbs and attenuates such radiation.

ALMA produced its first images – of the collision of two galaxies – in October 2011. Now that it is fully operational, expect to be gifted with more images as mind-boggling as the one above – as well as some ground-breaking science, of course – in years to come. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.