Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Chile Radio Telescopes Unveiled & Subway Exhibit

ALMA Radio Telescopes Unveiled in Chile; Subway Station Exhibit on New Telescopes

ALMA Telescope Dish 

SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA, Chile — High up in the Chilean desert, on a plateau so dry and red it looks like it could be Mars, dozens of giant telescope antennas stare at the sky in unison.

They are ALMA radio telescope — the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array — and together they can see deeper and farther in long-wavelength millimeter light than any instrument before. The $1.3 billion observatory, the product of 30 years of planning and 10 years of construction, is already sighting new planets in the process of forming around stars, and some of the most distant, ancient galaxies known.

To celebrate the inauguration of ALMA, officials and scientists gathered today (March 13) here at the observatory's Operations Support Facility, base camp for the telescope, which, at 5,000 meters (16,400 feet), is so high that scientists must breathe supplemental oxygen to work there.

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Date: 12 March 2013 Time: 06:08 PM ET

  Subway Station Exhibit of New Chile Radio Telescopes

SANTIAGO, Chile — Chileans say their country has the world's best night skies, and many astronomers agree with them — a number of Earth's premier telescopes have been built here. To celebrate the opening of a new observatory called ALMA, scientists have put together an exhibition to bring astronomy to the people of Chile during their morning commute.

Between Monday (March 11) and the end of the month, subway riders in Chile's capital can attend the show, called "Radio Astronomy: A New Window on the Universe" ("Radioastronomia: Una Nueva Ventana Al Universo"), located in a hall at the Baquedano station of the Santiago Metro.

The exhibition houses a film, illuminated photographs and interactive exhibits about radio astronomy, focusing on the new Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) opening in Chile's Atacama Desert.

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