Unique photo of the network of galactic threads in the Orion Nebula

The ALMA telescope complex made beautiful galactic filament photos in the Orion Nebula. This is one of the few telescopes that are technically able to make a similar picture.

Astronomy & Astrophysics manuscript published a study of a network of galactic filaments in the Orion Nebula. The images were made thanks to the complex of radio telescopes “Atakama Large Millimeter Range” (Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array – ALMA).

Galactic threads are long jets of cold gas, from which new stars form. Under the action of its own gravity, the gas contracts and forms a protostar, from which a new star is subsequently formed.

In the photo, the study shows the accumulation of filaments in the Orion Nebula, which is located at a distance of 1350 light years from Earth. This is the region of star formation closest to the Earth, which makes the nebula as convenient for studying the processes occurring at the birth and development of the stars. To make one image, scientists used 296 separate sets of data. The resulting photo is one of the largest “mosaics” that represent the region of star formation.

In the image it seems that the fibers are hot and therefore have such a bright red color. In fact, they are so cold that they can only be seen with the help of telescopes that operate in the millimeter wave range. Threads can not be recognized in the optical and infrared ranges, and ALMA is one of the few telescopes suitable for their study.