The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is an astronomical interferometer of radio telescopes in the Atacama desert of northern Chile that has been fully operational since March 2013.


This pan sequence shows part of the famous Orion Nebula star formation region. At the start, we see the bright Trapezium Cluster of hot young stars and then see the strange pattern of narrow filaments of cold gas, which appear red in this view from ALMA. The background blue image, which shows the stars and other features, comes from the HAWK-I camera on ESO’s Very Large Telescope.

New data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and other telescopes have been used to create a stunning image showing a web of filaments in the Orion Nebula. These features appear red-hot and fiery, but in reality are so cold that astronomers must use telescopes like ALMA to observe them.