Atacama Large Millimeter Array
|Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array|
The 7 metre radio telescopes at ALMA
|Location||Llano de Chajnantor Observatory
Atacama Desert, Chile
|Altitude||5,058.7 m (16597 ft)|
|Telescope style||at least 50 identical 12 m reflectors connected by fiber-optic cables|
|Website||Official ALMA site
Official NRAO ALMA site
Official ESO ALMA site
Official NAOJ ALMA site
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.
ALMA is being built by Europe, the United States, Canada, East Asia and the Republic of Chile. Costing more than a billion US dollars, 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.
- Romero, Simon (7 April 2012). "At the End of the Earth, Seeking Clues to the Universe". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/world/americas/high-in-chilean-desert-a-huge-astronomy-project.html. Retrieved 8 April 2012.