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Astronomers captured stunning images of a star that is currently in the process of being born using a huge radio telescope in Chile.
The image above is not the star itself, but jets of gasses including carbon monoxide and ionized oxygen that are in the process of shooting away from the soon-to-be-born star at a speed of approximately one million kilometers per hour.
These gasses, which crash into materials around the protostar, form the Herbig-Haro 46/47. According to the report, it is located in Vela, a southern constellation that is around 1,400 light years away from earth.
The pink and purple jets of gas on the left side of the image above are streaming toward Earth, while the orange and green jets are pointed away from earth.
"This system is similar to most isolated low mass stars during their formation and birth. But it is also unusual because the outflow impacts the cloud directly on one side of the young star and escapes out of the cloud on the other. This makes it an excellent system for studying the impact of the stellar winds on the parent cloud from which the young star is formed," said Diego Mardones, the co-author of the study that will be published in the Astrophysical Journal.
The detailed photos of Herbig-Haro 46/47 were captured using the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope. The ALMA radio telescope, which is composed of 66 individual radio telescopes, took five hours to obtain the stunning results.
"ALMA's exquisite sensitivity allows the detection of previously unseen features in this source, like this very fast outflow. 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," said Hector Arce, the lead author of the study.
Arce also added that these images captured by the $1.3 billion ALMA radio telescope, which is considered as one of the most powerful telescopes in history, will help scientist in studying the complex process of star formation.
Arce pointed out that such studies could be beneficial in uncovering the mystery behind the formation of our sun-centered solar system.