The Flame Nebula in Orion comes to life in a new image released by the European Southern Observatory based on data collected over several years by astronomer Thomas Stanke and a team using the SuperCam instrument at the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) in Chile’s Atacama Desert. The newly processed radio image, which includes a variety of other nebulae like the famous Horsehead, is shown in a box superimposed on a visible-light background image of the region from the Digitised Sky Survey 2. The huge molecular clouds of Orion are the nearest to the sun, located between 1,300 and 1,600 light years from Earth. It is home to the most active stellar nursery in the local neighborhood.
The world’s largest filled single-dish radio telescope launched at the weekend, and it relies on a piece of West Australian innovation. The 500-metre-wide telescope — known as FAST — uses a data system developed at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy in Perth and the European Southern Observatory to manage the huge amounts of data it generates.
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered an adolescent protostar that is undergoing a rapid-fire succession of growth spurts. Evidence for this fitful youth is seen in a pair of intermittent jets streaming away from the star’s poles. Known as CARMA-7, the protostar is one of dozens of similar objects in the Serpens South star cluster, which is located approximately 1,400 light-years from Earth.
There are about two dozen so-called hypervelocity stars known to be escaping our Milky Way galaxy, but PB 3877 is the first wide binary star found to travel at such a high speed. The results of a new study challenge the commonly accepted scenario that hypervelocity stars are accelerated by the supermassive black hole at the galactic centre.