Pair of massive baby stars swaddled in salty water vapor

Pair of massive baby stars swaddled in salty water vapor
ALMA composite image of a binary massive protostar IRAS 16547-4247. Different colors show the different distributions of dust particles (yellow), methyl cyanide (CH3CN, red), salt (NaCl, green), and hot water vapor (H2O, blue). Bottom insets are the close-up views of each components. Dust and methyl cyanide are distributed widely around the binary, whereas salt and water vapor are concentrated in the disk around each protostar. In the wide-field image, the jets from one of the protostars, seen as several dots in the above image, are shown in light blue. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Tanaka et al.

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers spotted a pair of massive baby stars growing in salty cosmic soup. Each star is shrouded by a gaseous disk which includes molecules of sodium chloride, commonly known as table salt, and heated water vapor. Analyzing the radio emissions from the salt and water, the team found

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