Image Credit: European Space Observatory (ESO)/B. Tafresh

The photo ambassador for the European Southern Observatory captured this utterly remarkable image of the antennae of the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), with a backdrop of billions of stars contained within the Milky Way galaxy.

From this vantage point, you can see the constellations of Carina and Vela. The bright orange point seen in the upper-left is Suhail (a star found in the constellation of Vela)  The similar-looking orange star located in the upper-middle region is Avior, from the constellation of Carnia. The three massive, bright-blue stars that come together to form an ‘L’ belong to Vela, with the one on the right from Carnia. The faint pink glow is that of the Carnia nebula, which is located at least 6,500 light-years from Earth.

This particular shot shows just a few of the 66 antennas that make up the ALMA array. Needless to say, ALMA is simply massive.

Download a larger image here.


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