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ALMA – looking into the soul of the universe October 4, 2011

Posted by Marie in ALMA, Astronomy, Cosmos.
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I love the Spanish language, and I really love that many songs in Spanish dwell upon the word alma meaning ‘soul‘ as often as they do ‘corazon‘ or ‘heart’. So I like the fact that the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a ‘telescope’ in the Chilean Andes, composed of 66 high-precision antennae (of which only 22 are currently online), designed to study light from some of the coldest, furthest, and most hidden secrets of the soul of the Universe.  For example …

Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO). Visible light image: the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

The array has recently published its first image (above) using only twelve antennae working together — just imagine what the images will be like once all the antennae are on-line!

To find out more about ALMA, or just to see some stunning scenery, it’s well worth taking a look at this video from ESO (European Southern Observatory).  Amazing skies, telescopes being moved on trucks – it’s all here!  And my claim to fame is that I know people who work on ALMA which makes me really cool. Yes? 🙂

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