October 3, 2011

Contact:

Tania Burchell, ALMA Public Information Officer
Charlottesville, VA
(434) 244-6812
tburchel@nrao.edu

First Astronomical Images from ALMA

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Read related story: ALMA Opens Its Eyes

For guided video tours of ALMA, please enjoy our ALMA Explorer.



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ABOVE: Multiwavelength composite of interacting galaxies NGC 4038/4039, the Antennae, showing their namesake tidal tails in radio (blues), past and recent starbirths in optical (whites and pinks), and a selection of current star-forming regions in mm/submm (orange and yellows). Inset: ALMA’s first mm/submm test views, in Bands 3 (orange), 6 (amber), & 7 (yellow), showing detail surpassing all other views in these wavelengths.

CREDIT:NRAO/AUI/NSF; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); HST (NASA, ESA, and B. Whitmore (STScI)); J. Hibbard, (NRAO/AUI/NSF); NOAO.


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ABOVE: Shining in white-blue is the generation of super bright, hot stars that formed when the denser centers of the two spirals first collided. The latest stars to light up are ionizing their gas shrouds, making the hydrogen glow bright pink around them. The gas ripped off during the galaxies' first close encounter are shown by the VLA, here colored blue. And ALMA's selection of current star-forming regions in mm/submm are shown in orange and yellows, with detail surpassing all other views in these wavelengths.

CREDIT:(NRAO/AUI/NSF); ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); HST (NASA, ESA, and B. Whitmore (STScI))

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ABOVE: The star- and gas-filled tidal tails are seen here as long, insect-like antennae. The older stars in them shine in pale white, and the gas glows in radio waves shown in this image as blue. (Radio images from Very Large Array at 21cm. Wide field optical images from CTIO 0.9m telescope.)

CREDIT:NRAO/AUI/NSF; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); HST (NASA, ESA, and B. Whitmore, (STScI)); J. Hibbard, (NRAO/AUI/NSF); NOAO/AURA/NSF.

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High-resolution CMYK TIFF version for print, without bounding boxes.

ABOVE: The white boxes outline where ALMA Band 6 early test data (amber) were taken. Inside are also the areas where ALMA Band 7 science verification data (yellow) were taken. During Early Science observations, ALMA will fill in more of the millimeter/submillimeter picture of the Antennae Galaxies. For technical information about the Band 7 science verification data, please visit the NRAO's CASA Guide to the Antennae Band 7 science verification data set..

CREDIT:(NRAO/AUI/NSF), ALMA (NRAO/NAOJ/ESO).)

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High-resolution CMYK TIFF version for print.

ABOVE: Future stars are growing now, concealed in dark clouds into which optical telescopes cannot see. However, ALMA sees through the obscuring dust and traces out these stellar nurseries, many of which show us the continuation of the cloud that has been lit pink by its previous generation of new stars. ALMA's millimeter/submillimeter wave test views here are represented in orange and yellows to contrast with the previous starbirth generations.

CREDIT: (NRAO/AUI/NSF); ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); HST (NASA, ESA, and B. Whitmore (STScI)).
MOVIE


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High-resolution, ~1.5GB.

ABOVE: In this movie, we zoom into the composite image of the Antennae Galaxies to see the detail to which ALMA has been able to see the star-forming regions of the southern galaxy of this colliding pair. We remove radio data and then turn off and on the ALMA data to show how millimeter/submillimeter views complement those of optical telescopes.

CREDIT:(NRAO/AUI/NSF); ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); HST (NASA, ESA, and B. Whitmore, (STScI)); J. Hibbard, (NRAO/AUI/NSF); NOAO/AURA/NSF. MOVIE


Lower resolution, ~12MB.

ABOVE: In this movie, two spiral galaxies are modeled as they approach, pass, and merge into each other. The movies pause to show how well they match views of actual colliding galaxies.
CREDIT:Visualization by Frank Summers (Space Telescope Science Institute). Simulation by Chris Mihos (Case Western Reserve University) and Lars Hernquist (Harvard University).

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