Monday, November 10, 2014

A Star is Born! And comes the planets.

Today, we learn Alma and how stars are born.

First let's meet Alma:

Atacama Large Millimeter Array

Alma is the largest and most expensive Array on Earth. 
Now with 66 arrays up to 15 kilometers apart, 
using sub meter wave lengths
Alma takes the finest detailed pictures ever of a new-born star, Hl Tau
450 Light Years away



Unlike other telescopes, ALMA uses longer wavelengths which fall between radio and infrared waves.


Normal telescopes can't pierce the cloud of dust to see what's inside, but Alma can

And here is what she saw:

A big dart board.
Kidding
The planetary disc of a new born star system.

By the tracks in the circular disk, we can tell planets are being created as they cut paths in the field of rocks and dust, picking up material and adding it to itself, growing in density with every rotation around the new sun.

What Alma has taught us is that planet creation occurs much faster than we had previously known.


2 comments:

  1. And I was sure you'd lead with Judy Garland...
    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

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