Atacama Large Millimeter Array

66 radio telescopes in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile

The Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array (ALMA) is an array of radio telescopes in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. A high and dry site is very important for millimeter wavelength work. ALMA is being built on the Chajnantor plateau at 5000 metres altitude. It will have 66 12-meter and 7-meter diameter radio telescopes observing at millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelengths. ALMA is expected to help scientists understand how stars were created during the early universe. It will also provide detailed imaging of local star and planet formation.

Atacama Large Millimeter Array
ALMA Antennas on Chajnantor.jpg
Alternative namesALMA Edit this at Wikidata
Part ofEvent Horizon Telescope
Llano de Chajnantor Observatory Edit this on Wikidata
Location(s)Antofagasta Region, Chile
Coordinates23°01′09″S 67°45′12″W / 23.0193°S 67.7532°W / -23.0193; -67.7532Coordinates: 23°01′09″S 67°45′12″W / 23.0193°S 67.7532°W / -23.0193; -67.7532 Edit this at Wikidata
OrganizationNational Institutes of Natural Sciences, Japan
European Southern Observatory
National Science Foundation Edit this on Wikidata
Altitude5,058.7 m (16,597 ft) Edit this at Wikidata
Telescope styleradio telescope
radio interferometer Edit this on Wikidata
Websitewww.almaobservatory.org Edit this at Wikidata
Atacama Large Millimeter Array is located in Chile
Atacama Large Millimeter Array
Location of Atacama Large Millimeter Array
This model of the ALMA array on the Chajnantor plateau shows how ALMA acts like a single telescope with a diameter as large as the distance between its individual antennas (represented by the blue circle).

ALMA is being built by Europe, the United States, Canada, East Asia and the Republic of Chile. Costing more than a billion US dollars,[1] it is the worlds's most expensive ground-based telescope. ALMA began scientific observations in the second half of 2011 and the first images were released to the press on 3 October 2011. The project is should be fully operational by March 2013.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Romero, Simon (7 April 2012). "At the End of the Earth, Seeking Clues to the Universe". New York Times. Retrieved 8 April 2012.