Big Pic: A Technicolor Galactic Explosion

The new ALMA telescope snaps an amazing view of the Sculptor Galaxy.

The Atacama Large Millimeter-submillimeter Array (ALMA) only opened in March, but we’ve already got incredible images from the new telescope. Here’s a recent look at the Sculptor Galaxy, a.k.a NGC 253, a spiral galaxy about 11.5 million light-years away.

The image shows cold gas being pushed out of the center of the galaxy by pressure created from young stars. That gives astronomers a window into a mystery: If some galaxies end up spewing out more gas (star-building fuel) than they take in, it would explain why some galaxies are much smaller than predictions would assume.