An international team of astronomers has collaborated to improve the capabilities of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), one of the world’s most powerful telescopes. Scientists from the National Science Foundation’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the Joint ALMA Observatory, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), and European Southern Observatory have achieved the highest resolution observation since ALMA began operations.
See the results the Astrophysical Journal (ALMA High-frequency Long Baseline Campaign in 2021: Highest Angular Resolution Submillimeter Wave Images for the Carbon-rich Star R Lep, https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2310.09664).
Image: © ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/Y. Asaki et al.; This image of R Leporis, a star in the final stages of its evolution, is the highest resolution image ever achieved with ALMA. It has an angular resolution of 5 milli-arcseconds, equivalent to seeing a 10-metre-long bus on the Moon. It was achieved using the ALMA Band 10 (high-frequency) receivers and an array configuration with a maximum baseline length of 16 km, as well as a novel calibration technique. Submillimeter-wave emission from the stellar surface is shown in orange and hydrogen cyanide maser emissions at 891 GHz are shown in blue. The observations show that the star is surrounded by a ring-like structure of gas and that gas from the star is escaping to the surrounding space.