Most detailed view ever of star formation in the distant universe

ALMA’s Long Baseline Campaign has produced a spectacularly detailed image of a distant galaxy being gravitationally lensed, revealing star-forming regions - something that has never seen before at this level of detail in a galaxy so remote. The left panel shows the foreground lensing galaxy (observed with Hubble), and the gravitationally lensed galaxy SDP.81, which forms an almost perfect Einstein Ring, is hardly visible. The middle image shows the sharp ALMA image of the Einstein ring, with the foreground lensing galaxy being invisible to ALMA. A large galaxy sitting between SDP.81 and ALMA is acting as a lens, warping the more distant galaxy’s light and creating a near-perfect example of a phenomenon known as an Einstein Ring. Credit: Credit: Y. Tamura (The University of Tokyo)/ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO) National Astronomical Observatory of Japan Using the spectral information gathered by ALMA, astronomers also measured how the distant galaxy rotates, and estimated its mass.

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