23 September, 2013
The process of restoring the ALMA observatory to its full operating conditions has begun. Final software acceptance and the resumption of Cycle 1 observations are expected in early October, so that the largest radio telescope in the world can continue to provide spectacular scientific discoveries.
Due to adverse weather conditions and power issues that limited the number of antennas available for science observations, ALMA’s Cycle 1 observations could not be restarted in June as expected. However, progress was made in final software acceptance for the array of 12-meter antennas, and it was finalized in July. Subsequently, labor issues delayed the resumption of operations at the observatory until September 7.
Meanwhile, in late October the ALMA observatory will issue a Call for Proposals, open to the international scientific community, in order to start the next cycle of Early Science observations (Cycle 2) in June 2014.
Cycle 2 will last for close to a year and a half and will employ 45 antennas–36 12-meter antennas and nine 7-meter antennas–as well as receiver bands 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 (wavelengths between 3.1 and 0.44 mm).
For more information on the resumption of Cycle 1, click here.
For more information about Cycle 2, click here.
Examples of early ALMA research are described in our press releases.
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan.
ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.
Education and Public Outreach Officer
Joint ALMA Observatory
Tel: +56 2 2467 6258
Cell: +56 9 7587 1963
Charles E. Blue
Public Information Officer
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
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Cell: +1 434.242.9559
Lars Lindberg Christensen
Head, ESO education and Public Outreach Department
Garching bei München, Germany
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Education and Public Outreach Officer, NAOJ Chile
Observatory Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81 422 34 3630