ALMA Opens For Public Visits
17 March, 2015 / Read time: 2 minutes
ALMA’s Operations Support Facility will open its doors to the public for the first time on 29 March 2015, offering members of the public a rare opportunity to experience what everyday life is like for those working on one of the most advanced pieces of scientific equipment in the world.
ALMA is a state-of-the-art telescope to study light from some of the coldest objects in the Universe. This light has wavelengths of around a millimeter, between infrared light and radio waves, and is therefore known as millimeter and submillimeter radiation. ALMA comprises 66 high-precision antennas, spread over distances of up to 16 kilometers. This global collaboration is the largest ground-based astronomical project in existence.
Public visits will be held at the ALMA Operations Support Facility, located at 2,900 meters altitude and 28 kilometers from the telescope array itself. Because the antenna array is located at a site 5,000 meters above sea level, most of the work at the observatory is carried out from the OSF.
Visits to the Operations Support Facility are now possible on Saturday and Sundays mornings, with a bus service running from San Pedro de Atacama. Reservations are mandatory. More information and booking information can be found here.
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (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. ALMA is funded by ESO on behalf of its Member States, by NSF in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and by NINS in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI).
ALMA construction and operations are led by ESO on behalf of its Member States; by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), on behalf of North America; and by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) on behalf of East Asia. The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.