ALMA/Hubble watches celestial fireworks erupt 8000-light-years away, on the birth of a star- Technology News, Firstpost


Celestial fireworks in a star cluster named G286.21+0.17 have now been observed by astronomers. Results of the observation were published in The Astrophysical Journal.

According to a report in CNET, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope in Chile joined hands with the Hubble Space Telescope to create a mosaic of the star cluster making it look like cosmic fireworks highlighting purple streamers and sizzling stars.

According to a report in Science Daily, most stars in the universe, including the Sun was born in huge star clusters. The report added that while the clusters are the building blocks of galaxies, their formation still remains shrouded in mystery. The mosaic was made with more than 750 individual radio observations that the ALMA recorded and nine infrared images from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

 ALMA/Hubble watches celestial fireworks erupt 8000-light-years away, on the birth of a star

Image of star cluster G286.21+0.17, caught in the act of formation. This is a multiwavelength mosaic of more than 750 ALMA radio images, and 9 Hubble infrared images. ALMA shows molecular clouds (purple) and Hubble shows stars and glowing dust (yellow and red). Image Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Y. Cheng et al.; NRAO/AUI/NSF, S. Dagnello; NASA/ESA Hubble.

The cluster itself is located in the Carina region of our galaxy, about 8000 light-years away.

A statement released by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory mentions that the dense clouds made of molecular gas (purple ‘fireworks streamers’) are revealed by ALMA, while stars in the image are revealed by their infrared light, as seen by Hubble.

“This image shows stars in various stages of formation within this single cluster,” said Yu Cheng of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, and lead author said.

Cheng went on to add that the process may take at least a million years to complete.

Co-author Jonathan Tan of Chalmers University in Sweden and the University of Virginia went on to add that the image highlights how dynamic and chaotic the process of the birth of a star is.

“We see competing forces in action: gravity and turbulence from the cloud on one side, and stellar winds and radiation pressure from the young stars on the other,” she revealed.

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