Big Pic: A Star's Bright Birth

Supersonic jets blow gas out of Herbig-Haro 46/47.

HH 46/47
converted PNM fileNASA/JPL-Caltech/ALMA

Hellooooo colorful baby star! NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the newly finished Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile were able to get us this stellar look inside the gas and dust surrounding Herbig-Haro 46/47. Herbig-Haro objects are nebulous regions created by collisions between newborn stars and the material around them. In the center here, a young star blows out supersonic jets.

Though HH 46/47 has been studied for about 10 years, new imaging techniques have allowed scientists to see it even more clearly now. The green in this picture shows hydrogen gas molecules and dust, while the blue represents gas energized by those supersonic jets. The red colors show the fast expansion of carbon monoxide gas.