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25th of April 2015
The Power of ALMA : revealing the initial conditions for cluster formation
by Jill Rathborne (CASS)
Two images of the dust continuum emission toward a very cold, dense molecular cloud that sits close to the centre of our Galaxy. This extreme cloud, dubbed "The Brick" because it is so cold and dense that it blocks background light, was identified as unique within surveys of the Galactic Plane taken with the Mopra 22m telescope (HOPS and MALT90). The right image shows the low angular resolution data obtained with the JCMT, while the left image shows the remarkable improvement in angular resolution and sensitivity provide by Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Despite still being in its Early Science phase, utilising a limited number of antennas and a fraction of its full capabilities, the images provided by ALMA are already changing our view of the cool, dusty Universe.

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