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Testing the ASTE prototype and the new ALMA base

1 January, 2005 / Read time: 1 minute

This 2004 video documents the Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE), a 10-meter Japanese prototype antenna designed by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO), capable of observing submillimeter wavelengths. 

This radio telescope was created by partners of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and is located at Pampa La Bola. This remote site at 4,800 meters above sea level is only 10 kilometers northeast of the Chajnantor Plateau, the then future home of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). 

In addition, images are shown of the first constructions at the Operations Support Facility (OSF) when it already had its first dormitories, electricity generators and water containers. This was designed to concentrate most of the ALMA workers, and it would later include offices, recreational spaces, laboratories and a control room that would allow the antennas to be operated remotely. 

Along with the above, it also shows beautiful images and time-lapses of the night sky, towns in the area, animals and some of the main tourist attractions of the Atacama Desert.

Credits: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)