I If you've always wanted to fly through the cosmos, strap yourself on. The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) – a grouping of radio wave telescopes in Chile – has enabled astronomers and space enthusiasts like no other to tour the Orion constellation.
The video above begins with a broad view of the sky and then into Orion, which is known to be the next region of massive star formation to Earth. This makes this room especially interesting for astronomers who are concerned with star evolution.
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The Last Station of The Journey of the ALMA Telescopes Through the Universe is located in a rectangular section of the Orion Nebula, 1
The strands of red gas running horizontally across the image are long clouds of cold gas visible only to millimeter wave telescopes like ALMA. This crimson gas stream will slowly clump and squeeze until it collapses under the force of its own gravity and invigorates protostars – the first stage of stellar evolution.
On the left you can see bright blue-white light, which was recorded by ESO's Very Large Telescope and is also based in Chile. This azure sky is known as the Trapezium Cluster, deep in the heart of the Orion Nebula. This is a pretty young group of stars that could only be a few million years old. Astronomers can estimate the age of these stellar masses by their brightness.
ALMA has not only given us the roller coaster ride through the Universe that we have always wanted, but has given astronomers an insight into the early stages of stellar evolution.
These discoveries may reveal clues to how the sun and our solar system originated long ago.
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