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World’s Largest Ground-Based Telescope Array Opens in Chile Soon.

A vast telescope touted as the largest ground-based astronomy project in the world, an array of 66 radio dishes in Chile’s high desert, will be officially opened for business next week with a cosmic inauguration ceremony on Wednesday (March 13). The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array(ALMA) is a $1.3 billion collaboration between North America, Europe and Asia, built high on a mountain in Chile’s Atacama desert. 

To celebrate the transition between ALMA’s construction phase and its status as a functional observatory, hundreds of scientists, government officials and journalists will gather for a ceremony that will be webcast around the world. Chile’s president, Sebastián Piñera, will also speak at the event.

The observatory will provide unprecedented views of faraway galaxies that formed shortly after the Big Bang, and will peer at the clouds of gas and dust where new planets are being formed around alien stars.

ALMA will observe in the millimeter and submillimeter range of radio wavelengths to catch sight of extremely distant objects that are speeding so quickly away from us that their light has been stretched into this range of the electromagnetic spectrum. To get the crispest pictures possible, the observatory has been built high on a mountain more than 16,500 feet (5,000 meters) in elevation, putting it above much of Earth’s atmosphere, which blurs images.”

Read more here & view more photos of ALMA here.

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, #science #ALMA #telescope #observatory #humanactions #astronomy
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