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Extremes at ALMA

23 May, 2024 / Read time: 1 minute

This video shows some of the unique features of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an essential tool for making new discoveries in the Cosmos. It features artistic impressions of some astronomical objects, animations of antenna operations, and images of antenna assembly and transportation.

The high sensitivity of the radio telescope enables us to capture wavelength signals at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths—a range invisible to our eyes—which reveals valuable information about the observed objects, such as their structure and chemical composition, which we would not be able to detect with telescopes that capture wavelengths within the visible light spectrum. 

Accomplishing this feat of science and engineering requires state-of-the-art technology, very specific climatic conditions, a high level of precision in the use of instruments, and top-level professionals to calibrate and perform maintenance on the 66 antennas in the array.

Credits: NRAO/AUI/NSF; ESO & ESO/S. Guisard; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); NASA/CXC/Wesleyan Univ./R.Kilgard et al; NASA/JPL-Caltech; NASA/ESA/S. Beckwith & Hubble Heritage Team (STScl/AURA); NASA/JPL-Caltech/ Univ. of AZ/R. Kennicutt; NASA, ESA, and B. Whitmore (STScl); NASA; ESA; SAO; CXC; JPL-Caltec y STScl