ALMA Compact Configuration
An artist's conception of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) in Compact Configuration. When construction is finished in 2011, ALMA will be the world’s largest and most powerful radio telescope, operating at millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelengths. [See related image: Antennas for ALMA.]
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More about this Image
The construction and operation of ALMA will be funded through a joint agreement between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the European Southern Observatory. NSF will execute the project through the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, VA. NRAO is operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities Inc.
ALMA will be an array of 64, 12-meter radio antennas that will work together as one telescope to study millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelength light from space. These wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum, which cross the critical boundary between infrared and microwave radiation, hold the key to understanding such processes as planet and star formation, the formation of early galaxies and galaxy clusters, and the detection of organic and other molecules in space. The telescope will be built at an altitude of 16,500 feet in the Atacama Desert in the Chilean Andes. The site was chosen because it is considered the best location on Earth to study millimeter and sub-millimeter light because the wavelengths are absorbed by moisture in the atmosphere.
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Categories:ASTRONOMY / Observatories
TIFF Format - 8.09M - 1347 x 2098 pixel image - 118 DPI
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Restrictions:See “NRAO/AUI CONDITIONS OF USE,” under caption (above).