Kaleidoscope jets of super-fast gas mark the violent birth of a star 1400 light-years from Earth.
Thanks to the high-resolution imaging capability of a new giant radio telescope array called the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in the high desert of Chile, astronomers have been able to reveal a large energetic jet moving away from us, seen in orange and green in the lower right of this image. Meanwhile another jet, visible in pink and purple toward the left of the baby star, is beaming toward Earth.
The speeds at which the jets are spewing out material have been clocked at nearly a million kilometers (620,000 miles) an hour. The shockwave from these blasts plow into the gas and dust that surrounds the baby star—making them light up like neon signs.
Space Pictures This Week: Birth of a Star, Moon Lineup
A violent star birth is caught on film and moons line up in this week's best space pictures.