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TOPIC: Atacama Large Millimeter Array


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Alma observatory
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A team working on the Alma observatory in Chile have made their first measurements from the telescope's site, located 5,300m up in the Andes.
Astronomers and engineers took their first "interferometric" measurements of radio signals - so-called "fringes" - of an astronomical source.
This is an important technical step for the Alma project.
The antennas were moved into position at the observatory site on Chajnantor plateau in Chile on 16 and 17 October.


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RE: The Submillimeter Array
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ALMA "first fringes" at Chajnantor
A team of astronomers and engineers at the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) have made the first interferometric measurements of radio signals - so-called fringes - of an astronomical source from the observatorys 5000-metre high site of Chajnantor. This is an important technical step for ALMA, as it used a full suite of the production equipment, including two of the 12-metre diameter antennas, and sophisticated electronic systems for receiving and correlating the signals. This is the first time that all these complex items, almost all of which are at the leading edge of technology, have been used together as a complete system.

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ALMA telescope reaches new heights
The ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array) astronomical observatory has taken another step forward - and upwards. One of its state-of-the-art antennas was carried for the first time to the 5000m plateau of Chajnantor, in the Chilean Andes, on the back of a custom-built giant transporter. The antenna, which weighs about 100 tons and has a diameter of 12 metres, was transported up to the high-altitude Array Operations Site, where the extremely dry and rarefied air is ideal for ALMAs observations of the Universe.

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The Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) , a major international telescope project, in which Taiwan is a participant, achieved a major milestone in late April when faint radio waves emitted by Mars were first collected by two 12- metre diameter ALMA antennas, Taiwan's National Science Council (NSC) announced Tuesday.
The ALMA project is an international collaboration among East Asia, Europe, and North America in cooperation with Chile.

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A quick salute to the folks building an enormous radio-telescope array in Chile.
For the first time, they've linked a pair of antennas together to act as one, hooked them up to the electronics in the control center, and taken their first peek at something in space - Mars, an easy initial target. No image, mind you. Just "first fringes," as opposed to the "first light" an optical observatory would register.

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ALMA antennas
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First two ALMA antennas successfully linked
Scientists and engineers working on the world's largest ground-based astronomical project, the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA), have achieved another milestone - the successful linking of two ALMA astronomical antennas, synchronised with a precision of one millionth of a millionth of a second - to observe the planet Mars. ALMA is under construction by an international partnership in the Chilean Andes.

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Title: The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array
Authors: Alwyn Wootten, A. Richard Thompson

The Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) is an international radio telescope under construction in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. ALMA is situated on a dry site at 5000 m elevation, allowing excellent atmospheric transmission over the instrument wavelength range of 0.3 to 10 mm. ALMA will consist of two arrays of high-precision antennas. One, of up to 64 12-m diameter antennas, is reconfigurable in multiple patterns ranging in size from 150 meters up to ~15 km. A second array is comprised of a set of four 12-m and twelve 7-m antennas operating in one of two closely packed configurations ~50 m in diameter. The instrument will provide both interferometric and total-power astronomical information on atomic, molecular and ionised gas and dust in the solar system, our Galaxy, and the nearby to high-redshift universe. In this paper we outline the scientific drivers, technical challenges and planned progress of ALMA.

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National Radio Astronomy Observatory's ALMA Project (Atacama Large Millimeter Array) - Opening New Windows On Celestial Origins See what's happening at 16,000 feet above sea level on a Chilean plateau.

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Astronomers celebrated today the formal acceptance of the first North American antenna by the Joint ALMA Observatory. ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, is a gathering armada of short-wavelength radio telescopes whose combined power will enable astronomers to probe with unprecedented sharpness phenomena and regions that are beyond the reach of visible-light telescopes. The observatory is being assembled high in the Chilean Andes by a global partnership.

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Credit: Visual design and editing: Martin Kornmesser, Luis Calšada and Herbert Zodet. Host: Dr. J. Footage and photos: ESO. Web and technical support: Lars Holm Nielsen and Raquel Yumi Shida.

Dr. J. Footage takes us to the site of ALMA, the Atacama Millimetre / Submillimetre Array in the Atacama region in Chile. ALMA is an observatory under construction 5000 metres above sea-level, on the plateau of Chajnantor high enough to be literally breathtaking.
ESO is one of the world's leading research organisations. It is dedicated to astronomy and astrophysics, and operates the La Silla Paranal Observatory in the Atacama desert in Chile, on behalf of its thirteen member states.

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