A Star Is Born: ALMA Telescope Captures Newborn Star In Stunning Footage [VIDEO]

By Josh Lieberman on August 20, 2013 5:43 PM EDT

star born
The ALMA telescope in Chile captured the birth of Herbig-Haro 46/47, a new star 1,400 light years away. (Photo: YouTube screenshot)

The ALMA, a radio telescope system in Chile, has captured the birth of a star, and the results are quite colorful.

The ALMA telescope photographed the glowing star mass, called Herbig-Haro 46/47, a glowing collision of gas and dust. The newborn star lays some 1,400 light years away from Earth in a constellation called Vela.

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According to European Southern Observatory, which runs ALMA, young stars like the one ALMA captured are "violent objects that eject material at speeds as high as one million kilometres per hour. When this material crashes into the surrounding gas it glows, creating a Herbig-Haro object."

ALMA, which stands for Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array, is a 66-antennae series of radio telescopes located in the Atacama Desert in Chile, one of the driest places on Earth. ALMA is a joint partnership between a number of nations, including the United States, Canada and Chile. The radio telescope system cost $1 billion and has been operational since 2011.

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