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Watch: ALMA Telescopes Zoom 1,350 Light-Years into Space

Take a trip through the Orion constellation.

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.

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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.

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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.

You Can Save Up to 30 Percent on Your Power Bill With Arcadia Power

Connect to clean, low-cost energy and bring down your power bill for free.

Filed Under Energy & Power

Given the chance, most of us would jump at the opportunity to bring down our power bills. But, there’s a prevailing assumption that doing so involves dealing with steep upfront costs before the savings actually come in. Arcadia Power presents a different solution, however, and it’s willing to give new users $20 off their first utility bill for trying out the platform.

Ancient Humans' Tiny Tool Use Is a Big Reason We Are Evolutionarily Unique 

Humans' love of miniaturization allowed for our global spread.

Tools have long been a centerpiece of humans’ ongoing quest to understand our own evolution. Man created tools, and so man has been judged as uniquely, cognitively complex. The problem with this line of thinking, however, is that it’s increasingly obvious that toolmaking and tool use do not make humans as unique as we’d like to think: Many animals, from orangutans to crows, make tools, too.

73 Years Later, the "A-Bomb" Ginkgo Trees Still Grow in Hiroshima

"There’s a huge paradox at the heart of this ginkgo story."

On August 6, 1945, an Allied plane dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, creating a fireball 1,200 feet in diameter. Disaster rained down upon the city, killing an estimated 150,000 people and leveling both the biological and man-made landscape. Little was left standing, but somehow the ginkgo trees were able to weather one of the most destructive moments in human history.

CIA Psychic Pioneer Explains How Physics Would Have to Change for ESP

"Our answer is a member of the class of things that can explain psychic abilities."

The film The Men Who Stare at Goats had a long laugh at the United States Army’s 20-year-long attempt to use psychic powers to kill animals. Those experiments grew out of the work of physicist Russell Targ, Ph.D., whose studies on psychic “remote viewing” at the Stanford Research Institute in the 1970s drew the attention of the CIA, which later turned it into the goat-felling Stargate Project. That project was abandoned in 1995, and Targ’s work has been panned as pseudoscience ever since. But he stands by what he saw: people who could perceive hidden targets using only their minds.

How a Brutal Murder Had a Profound Ripple Effect on Scientific Thought

A viral story of 38 do-nothing witnesses changed sociology, psychology, and neuroscience.

When 28-year-old Catherine Susan Genovese was killed outside her apartment in Kew Gardens, Queens, 38 people reportedly witnessed the attack but didn’t get involved.

Known to her friends as Kitty, she had only lived at 82-70 Austin Street for a year with her girlfriend, Mary Ann Zielonko, before returning on the night of March 13 from her job managing a bar.