Young stars are violent objects — ejecting material at speeds as high as one million kilometers per hour. When this material crashes into the surrounding gas it glows, creating what is called a Herbig-Haro object.

One spectacular example is named Herbig-Haro 46/47 and is situated about 1400 light-years from Earth. By looking at the glow coming from carbon monoxide molecules in Herbig-Haro 46/47, astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have now discovered that its jets are even more energetic than previously thought. The very detailed new images have also revealed a previously unknown jet pointing in a totally different direction.

The zoom sequence in the video below starts with a wide view of the southern Milky Way and then closes in on a rich region of dark clouds and young stars in the constellation of Vela. One of these dark star-forming clouds features Herbig-Haro 46/47, where jets from a young star are colliding with the surrounding material.

(European Southern Observatory)