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Telescope captures birth of a new star

Astronomers have succeeded in observing a star being born 1,400 light years from the Earth using the ALMA telescope in Chile. But the astral baby in the constellation Vela has yet to receive a real name.

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The images from the telescope show material streaming from the baby star at incredibly high speed. Astronomers say the illuminated jets are being spewed out at a faster velocity than has ever been measured.

The glowing mass is called a Herbig-Haro object, named after the astronomers George Howard Herbig and Guillermo Haro. Such masses arise near young stars when gases mix with the surrounding dust.

The young star has not yet been named, having only received the official designation HH 46/47.

The relatively new ALMA telescope is an array of 66 antennas located in one of the driest places on Earth, the Atacama desert.

tj/rc (AP, afp)