ALMA image of the protostar MMS5/OMC-3. The protostar is located at the centre and the gas streams are ejected to the east and west (left and right). The slow outflow is shown in orange and the fast jet is shown in blue. It is obvious that the axes of the outflow and jet are misaligned. Image credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/ Matsushita et al.
Astronomers have unveiled the enigmatic origins of two different gas streams from a baby star. Using the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA), they found that the slow outflow and the high speed jet from a protostar have misaligned axes and that the former started to be ejected earlier than the latter. The origins of these two flows have been a mystery, but these observations provide telltale signs that these two streams were launched from different parts of the disk around the protostar.
Stars in the Universe have a wide range of masses, ranging from hundreds of times the mass of the Sun to less than a tenth of that of the Sun. To understand the origin of this variety, astronomers study the formation process of the stars, that is the aggregation of cosmic gas and dust.
Baby stars ...