National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

ALMA Hears Birth Cry of a Massive Baby Star

| Science

Artist’s impression of Orion KL Source I. The massive protostar is surrounded by a disk of gas and dust. The outflow is launched from the surface of the outer disk. Original size (2.3MB)

An international research team led by a Japanese astronomer has determined how the enigmatic gas flow from a massive baby star is launched. The team used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to observe the baby star and obtained clear evidence of rotation in the outflow. The motion and the shape of the outflow indicate that the interplay of centrifugal and magnetic forces in a disk surrounding the star plays a crucial role in the star’s birth cry.

These observation results were published as Hirota et al. “Disk-Driven Rotating Bipolar Outflow in Orion Source I” in Nature Astronomy on June 12, 2017.

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