JUNGLE OF THE SKY #2
Let's follow up on our exploration of the sky... Last March 13th, the largest observatory in the world, the Alma (Atacama Large Millimeter Array) telescope, was inaugurated in northern Chile on the Atacama plateau, which runs part way along the Andes, in one of the world’s most arid deserts.
This extremely dry air, combined with very low levels of light pollution, makes this site such an exceptional observation point.
Alma is composed of no fewer than 66 saucer-shaped antennae, each 12 meters in diameter. As in Narrabri, these antennae function together to attain a cumulative power that is equal to a telescope measuring 16 km in diameter.
After 10 years of work and joint funding from the EU, USA and Japan, Alma is at last operational and the result is an unrivalled success... First of all, because this is the only telescope that can “see” between the stars, and with the observation of this hidden and unknown matter, astronomers can dream of piercing through the enigma of the origins of life on earth. Also because Alma has such a powerful range that it has the power to go back in time and observe the first galaxies. No doubt the site will bring us answers about our place in the cosmos.