If you’ve always wanted to soar through the cosmos, buckle up. The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) — a grouping of radio wave telescopes in Chile — have given astronomers and space-enthusiasts a tour through the Orion constellation like none other.

The video seen above begins with a broad view of the sky and then takes off into Orion, which is known to be the nearest region of massive star formation to Earth. That makes this area of space particularly interesting to astronomers studying stellar evolution.

Join our private Dope Space Pics group on Facebook for more strange wonder.

The final stop of the ALMA telescopes’ journey through the universe is at a rectangular section of the Orion Nebula 1,350 light-years away from Earth. This patch of space is a breeding ground for newborn stars.

Article continues below

The wisps of red gas seen running horizontally across the image are long clouds of cold gas, which are only visible to millimeter wavelength telescopes like ALMA. This crimson river of gas will slowly clump and compress together until it collapses under the force of its own gravity, giving life to protostars — the first stage of stellar evolution.

This spectacular and unusual image shows part of the famous Orion Nebula, a star formation region lying about 1350 light-years from Earth.

To the far left, you’ll see bright blue-white light that was picked up by the ESO’s Very Large Telescope, which is also based in Chile. This azure swath of sky is known as the Trapezium Cluster, found deep in the heart of the Orion Nebula. This is a fairly young group of stars that could be only a few million years old. Astronomers can estimate the age of these stellar masses by how brightly they burn.

Not only has ALMA given us the rollercoaster ride through the universe we’ve always wanted, but it has given astronomers a glimpse of the early stages of stellar evolution.

These discoveries can unravel hints of how the sun and our solar system came to be long ago.

On Monday, scientists revealed the first images of a human inside the world’s newest total body scanner, called EXPLORER. The name is fitting because this scanner really leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination, tracking the way drugs and disease progress through every nook and cranny in the body.

Designed by biomedical engineering professor Simon Cherry, Ph.D., and biophysicist Ramsey Badawi, Ph.D. at University of California, Davis, this scanner produces images that look like a hybrid between a PET scan (which is often used to find tumors) and an X-ray, all in ghostly black and white. But what’s interesting about EXPLORER, which will be officially unveiled at the Radiological Society of North America meeting on November 24th, isn’t that it produces detailed images of tissues or bones. Cherry tells Inverse that it can also create 3D movies showing where certain drugs may end up in the body.

Touchdown confirmed! The Mars InSight Lander’s 205-day journey from Earth is complete.

A little before 3 p.m. on Monday, November 26, 2018, the scientific exploration device made by NASA safely landed on the red planet. The video above shows the emotional moment inside mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Califorrnia, when they received word that InSight handed touched down on Mars.

What do your car, phone, soda bottle, and shoes have in common? They’re all largely made from petroleum. This nonrenewable resource gets processed into a versatile set of chemicals called polymers — or more commonly, plastics. Over 5 billion gallons of oil each year are converted into plastics alone.

Polymers are behind many important inventions of the past several decades, like 3D printing. So-called “engineering plastics,” used in applications ranging from automotive to construction to furniture, have superior properties and can even help solve environmental problems. For instance, thanks to engineering plastics, vehicles are now lighter weight, so they get better fuel mileage. But as the number of uses rises, so does the demand for plastics. The world already produces over 300 million tons of plastic every year. The number could be six times that by 2050.

This December, Inverse is counting down the 25 most WTF moments in the world of science in 2018. Some are gross, some are amazing, and some are just, well, WTF. There are stories on kangaroos that got high on DMT, surprising research into fake news, a weird fact about early memories, a scientific study on booze, an explanation for why you’re sad after sex, and an appreciative ode to Neanderthals.