On March 13, 2013, the ALMA Telescope in northern Chile, which is the world’s largest ground-based Telescope, will officially go online. The US$1.3 billion project will open a new chapter in space observation.
ALMA combines the forces of 66 radio antennas, most almost 40 feet in diameter, to create images comparable to those that could be obtained with a single 46,000-foot-wide dish.
ALMA stands for Atacama Large Millimeter Array and has been built at an altitude of 16,400ft deep in the Chilean desert. It’s height and location is perfect because water in the air blocks starlight in the portion of the “electromagnetic spectrum” that scientists want to study.
ALMA is designed to spot some of the most distant, ancient galaxies ever seen, and to probe the areas around young stars for planets in the process of forming.