|The young mother star HL Tau giving birth to her solar system
The Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array, or ALMA space telescope, mounted on a hillside in northern Chile, has captured a stunning image of creation in progress 450 light-years from Earth. The young star HL Tau shows evidence to be giving birth to her new solar system.
Stuartt Corder, ALMA deputy director;
“These features are almost certainly the result of young planet-like bodies that are being formed in the disk. This is surprising, since HL Tau is no more than a million years old, and such young stars are not expected to have large planetary bodies capable of producing the structures we see in this image.”
The new image is considerably sharper than most images produced by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Astronomers were at first hugely surprised by the detail and clarity of the image, so much so, Tony Beasley, director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia, remarked, “The first time I saw this image, I thought it was actually probably a simulation. It was just way too good.”
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