The aorta arises from the left ventricle. This blood vessel is the largest artery in the body. The aorta gives rise to other arteries, such as the carotid, coronary and subclavian branches.
The left ventricle is separated from the aorta by the aortic valve, which prevents blood from flowing back into the ventricle with each contraction. As an artery, the aorta moves blood away from the heart toward the rest of the body. Oxygenated blood travels through the aorta to provide nourishment to the body's tissues.
The right ventricle pumps blood only to the lungs. The left ventricle, therefore, has thicker walls than the right because it needs to pump blood to all the organs. This generates the high blood pressure found in the aorta.