ALMA observes the birth of a monster star

Observations of the dark cloud SDC 335.579-0.292 using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter array (ALMA) have given astronomers the best view yet of a monster star in the process of forming. A stellar womb with over 500 times the mass than the Sun has been found and appears as the yellow blob near the centre of this picture. This is the largest ever seen in the Milky Way — and it is still growing. The embryonic star within is hungrily feeding on the material that is racing inwards. It is expected to give birth to a very brilliant star with up to 100 times the mass of the Sun.

This image combines data from ALMA and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.

Credit:

ALMA (ESO/NRAJ/NRAO)/NASA/Spitzer/JPL-Caltech/GLIMPSE

About the Image

Id:eso1331a
Type:Observation
Release date:10 July 2013, 12:00
Related releases:eso1331
Size:1225 x 874 px

About the Object

Name:SDC 335.579-0.292
Type:Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Star Formation
Distance:11000 light years
Constellation:Norma
Category:Nebulae
Stars

Image Formats

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Coordinates

Position (RA):16 31 1.43
Position (Dec):-48° 42' 32.98"
Field of view:6.14 x 4.38 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 21.9° right of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Infrared
Channel 1
3.6 μm Spitzer Space Telescope
IRAC (Spitzer)
Infrared
Channel 2
4.5 μm Spitzer Space Telescope
IRAC (Spitzer)
Millimeter
Band 3
3.2 mmAtacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array
Infrared
Channel 4
8.0 μm Spitzer Space Telescope
IRAC (Spitzer)

 

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