Step 1: ALMA Images

This image shows an aerial view of the Chajnantor Plateau, located at an altitude of 5000 meters in the Chilean Andes, where the array of ALMA antennas is located. The large antennas have a diameter of 12 metres, while 12 smaller antennas with a diameter of 7 metres make up the ALMA Compact Array (ACA). On the horizon, the main peaks from right to left are Cerro Chajnantor, Cerro Toco, and Juriques. This photo was taken in December 2012, four months prior to the ALMA inauguration.

This image shows an aerial view of the Chajnantor Plateau, located at an altitude of 5000 meters in the Chilean Andes, where the array of ALMA antennas is located. The large antennas have a diameter of 12 metres, while 12 smaller antennas with a diameter of 7 metres make up the ALMA Compact Array (ACA). On the horizon, the main peaks from right to left are Cerro Chajnantor, Cerro Toco, and Juriques. This photo was taken in December 2012, four months prior to the ALMA inauguration.

In the past few months the most beautiful detailed images of the cosmos have been published from the new telescopes in Chile – the ALMA array (see above). The images are not only beautiful, they’re also causing astronomers to re-evaluate their ideas of the cosmos.

This image shows the remnant of Supernova 1987A seen in light of very different wavelengths. ALMA data (in red) shows newly formed dust in the centre of the remnant. Hubble (in green) and Chandra (in blue) data show the expanding shock wave.

This image shows Supernova 1987A seen in light of very different wavelengths from different telescopes. ALMA data (in red) shows newly formed material in the centre. (Hubble data is green and Chandra data is blue.)

The image above is of Supernova 1987A (our closest supernova). The data produced by ALMA is surprising astronomers because the ‘exploding’ star is not behaving as expected – quoting from Science Recorder:

‘Astronomers forecasted that, as the gas cooled following the explosion, huge amounts of dust would form as atoms of oxygen, carbon, and silicon bonded together in the cold middle regions of the exploded body.  Yet, earlier observations of SN 1987A made with infrared telescopes during the first 500 days following the explosion detected only a minute amount of hot dust.

“SN 1987A is a special place since it hasn’t mixed with the surrounding environment, so what we see there was made there,” said Indebetouw.  ”The new ALMA results, which are the first of their kind, reveal a supernova remnant chock full of material that simply did not exist a few decades ago.” ‘

Perhaps the lack of heat in a supernova is because the explosion of a star is not an “uncontrolled explosion of a human device“, but rather a “burst of life” as described in Step 1: Solar Systems are Born From Supernova

Observations using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have revealed an unexpected spiral structure in the material around the old star R Sculptoris in the constellation Sculptor. This feature has never been seen before.

Observations using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have revealed an unexpected spiral structure in the material around the old star R Sculptoris in the constellation Sculptor. This feature has never been seen before.

As our technology improves, our observations of the cosmos improve as well. We are seeing structure and order where none were unexpected. For example, the star R Sculptoris (see image above) is showing a spiralling internal structure that no one had seen before – nor expected to see. Quoting from a wonderful article about star formation on the ALMA website titled:”ALMA Discovers Large “Hot” Cocoon around a Small Baby Star“:

“A large hot molecular cloud around a very young star was discovered by ALMA. This hot cloud is about ten times larger than those found around typical solar-mass baby stars, which indicates that the star formation process has more diversity than ever thought.”

See more fabulous images from the ALMA website here.

mk bk pg 16,17 and insert

“God’s invisible hands gather the material in the nebula into planets.”

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