ALMA exhibit opens with music and high attendance

7 October, 2015

Over 200 people attended the opening of the exhibit, “ALMA, exploring our cosmic origins” at Fundación Telefónica, where they also enjoyed the sounds of the music group, Sergio Lagos y los Gaffers, who set the tone for the evening with its recent work, “Cosmos”.

Professors, astronomers, and the general public were invited to the event and spent the evening enjoying the impressive photography, colorful illustrations and entertaining videos that all form part of this free exhibit, open until January 2016 at Av. Providencia 127, Santiago.

Impressive photography and illustrative videos form part of the free exhibit entitled “ALMA, exploring our cosmic origins” in Espacio Fundación Telefónica (Av. Providencia 127, Santiago) between October 7, 2015 and January 3, 2016.

Images, illustrations and plain language explain the innermost workings of the most powerful earth observatory in the history of humankind, why it is installed at 5,000 meters above sea level in the middle of the Atacama Desert, what is expected of it and what it has discovered so far about our cosmic origins.

For ALMA director, Pierre Cox, “ALMA is an incredible example of what several nations, united under science in an exceptional site like northern Chile, can achieve in the name of furthering our understanding of the Universe. We are very happy to be able to show ALMA in a hub in Chile like Plaza Italia, reaching as many people as possible and letting them grasp the magnitude of this observatory. Chile’s contribution to astronomy through its skies and human capital is -and will continue to be- momentous.”

Santiago 06 de Octubre 2015 Inauguracion exposicion ¨ALMA explorando nuestros origenes cosmicos¨. Martin Thomas/AgenciaUno

Credit: Martin Thomas, Agencia Uno

Santiago 06 de Octubre 2015 Inauguracion exposicion ¨ALMA explorando nuestros origenes cosmicos¨. Martin Thomas/AgenciaUno

Credit: Martin Thomas, Agencia Uno

The exhibition is divided into four areas. The first is a room for children, to bring the observatory closer to everyone, with easy language and colorful images that combine illustrations with photography. Another area is dedicated to the history and construction of the project, from the initial idea to the final installation of the last antenna made possible by the collaboration of 20 countries. This history is brought to life through attractive photographs and multimedia screens.

The third room shows the main astronomical discoveries that have been made possible thanks to ALMA during these 4 years since the observatory “opened its eyes” and we saw its first image of the Cosmos. The last area is reserved to share how the ancient inhabitants of what is now the ALMA site – the Atacameño Community – interpreted the Universe. ALMA participated in an anthropological study named “The Universe of our Elders”, which will soon come to light in the form of a book. The exhibit presents the first results and images of years of research.

Santiago 06 de Octubre 2015 Inauguracion exposicion ¨ALMA explorando nuestros origenes cosmicos¨. Martin Thomas/AgenciaUno

Credit: Martin Thomas, Agencia Uno

This interesting and diverse exhibit is accompanied by a series of free activities to attract the general public, not just to ALMA but also to astronomy in general. These activities include night sky observations, robotics and astro-photography workshops, music based on the Cosmos, and round tables on different topics, such as Art and Astronomy, Astro-engineering, and How to get the most out of the Chilean skies.

Professors and students also have access to special activities: Two talks given by ALMA astronomers for schools, radio astronomy classes for teachers, and diverse educational workshops that link the exhibition to different curricular content from Mathematics, Physics, History and Geography, Science, Language and Communication and Visual Arts.

Santiago 06 de Octubre 2015 Inauguracion exposicion ¨ALMA explorando nuestros origenes cosmicos¨. Andres Wallis, Valeria Foncea, Pierre Cox, Patricia Hasbun y Claudio Muñoz. Martin Thomas/AgenciaUno

Credit: Martin Thomas, Agencia Uno

At a time when almost half of all observations of the Universe are made from Chilean soil, this exhibit represents an opportunity to learn from astronomy and new technologies hand in hand with the ALMA team.

More information about the activities.

About ALMA

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership between the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile.

Contact

Valeria Foncea
Education and Public Outreach Officer
Joint ALMA Observatory
Santiago, Chile
Tel: +56 2 467 6258
Cell: +56 9 75871963
Email: vfoncea@alma.cl