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Up close with a dazzling infant star (pictures)

New equipment based in Chile shows the fury of a newborn star in startling new detail.

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Eric Mack
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1 of 6 ESO / Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

Meeting an addition to the Milky Way

The European Southern Observatory recently released some of the most stunning images of a newborn star ever. With the help of the ESO's Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, the observations found material being ejected from the star was moving much quicker than previously measured.

Pictured above is a view of the southern Milky Way. In the constellation of Vela (The Sails) there lies a rich region of dark clouds and young stars, including Herbig-Haro object HH 46/47.

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2 of 6 ESO/ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/H. Arce. Acknowledgements: Bo Reipurth

A full spectrum view of a star's birth

This image of Herbig-Haro object HH 46/47 combines radio observations acquired with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) with much shorter wavelength visible light observations from ESO’s New Technology Telescope (NTT). Keep browsing the gallery to see what each image looks like by itself.
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3 of 6 ESO/ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/H. Arce

A new star's invisible rage

ALMA captured this close-up view of material jetting away from a newborn star. The different colors represent movement in different directions. The blue parts on the left are moving toward Earth, while the larger jet on the right is moving away from us.
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4 of 6 ESO/Bo Reipurth

A star profile

ESO's New Technology Telescope shows the visible light emitting from Herbig-Haro object HH 46/47 as jets emerging from a star-forming dark cloud.
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5 of 6 ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2. Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin

A wide view

In this wide-field view, a rich region of dust clouds and star formation in the southern constellation of Vela is visible. The jets of the Herbig-Haro object HH 46/47 are visible emerging from a dark cloud where infant stars are being born.
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6 of 6 ESO, IAU and Sky & Telescope

New baby in the neighborhood

A chart of the southern constellation of Vela (The Sails). The area of the Herbig-Haro object HH 46/47 is indicated with a red circle, but you're not likely to be able to see it with a consumer telescope without superpowers. The star is 1,400 light-years away.

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