ALMA - Now Online

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The British funded observatory in Chile is now up and running.

http://www.almaobservatory.org/

Already it is confirming that the past universe - at least the light coming from certain sections of it - gave birth to stars at a far greater rate than anyone imagined, and far earlier than predicted.


To understand precisely how much this gravitational lensing brightened the view of the galaxies, the team made sharper images of them using more ALMA observations at wavelengths around 0.89 millimeters.
"These beautiful pictures show the background galaxies warped into multiple arcs and rings of light, known as Einstein rings, which encircle the foreground galaxies. It’s like looking through a cosmic kaleidoscope," said Yashar Hezaveh (McGill University, Montreal, Canada), who led the study of the gravitational lensing.
Analysis of the distortion reveals that the distant star-forming galaxies have brightnesses equivalent to as many as 40 trillion (40 thousand billion) Suns, and that gravitational lensing has magnified this by up to 22 times.


The ALMA observatory is some four to ten times as sensitive as the Hubble telescope, so expect some more groundbreaking news in the very near future.

http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1313/
 
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