ALMA – Atacama Large Millimeter Array
ALMA – Atacama Large Millimeter Array – 5000 meters above sea level in the Atacama Desert in Chile. So in one of the driest places in our globe. Also one of the least friendly places on our planet. Especially Chajnantor plateau. Here, in northern Chile, the temperature can drop from 20 degrees Celsius to -20 at night. A strong wind rages over the infertile, red-shining plateau, lashing sharp rocks and few bushes that survive here. The air contains half as much oxygen as at sea level. Humidity is almost zero, which makes the atmosphere more transparent. What penetrates from space, reaches the plateau almost unfiltered. Thanks to this, the Atacama desert is the Mecca of astronomers.
The largest radio telescope in the world was created on it. Using the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, a device with revolutionary design. Scientists can reach extremely cold and dark areas in the universe for the first time. Thanks to this network of radio telescopes, specialists are even able to penetrate the impenetrable nebulae. In this way, discover the stars that were created shortly after the Big Bang.
Sixty-six ALMA antennas were mounted in the base at a height of 3000 meters and trucks were transported to the plateau. There they were set with millimeter precision. After their launch and connection, a receiver with an area of approx. 16 km² was created.