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ALMA radio telescope (in northern Chile)
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The Submillimeter Array
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Roof-Topping Ceremony Held for the ALMA OSF
On 10 March, an official ceremony took place on the 2,900m high site of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Operations Support Facility, from where the ALMA antennas will be remotely controlled. The ceremony marked the completion of the structural works, while the building itself will be finished by the end of the year. This will become the operational centre of one of the most important ground-based astronomical facilities on Earth.

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ALMA Achieves Major Milestone With Antenna-Link Success
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The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international telescope project, reached a major milestone on 2 March, when two 12-m ALMA prototype antennas were first linked together as an integrated system to observe an astronomical object.
 The milestone achievement, technically termed 'First Fringes', came at the ALMA Test Facility (ATF), located near Socorro in New Mexico. Faint radio waves emitted by the planet Saturn were collected by two ALMA prototype antennas, then processed by new, high-tech electronics to turn the two antennas into a single, high-resolution telescope system, called an interferometer. The planet's radio emissions at a frequency of 104 gigahertz were tracked by the ALMA system for more than an hour.

Such pairs of antennas are the basic building blocks of the multi-antenna imaging system ALMA. In such a system, the signals recorded by each antenna are electronically combined with the signals of every other antenna to form a multitude of pairs. Each pair contributes unique information that is used to build a highly detailed image of the astronomical object under observation. When completed in the year 2012, ALMA will have 66 antennas.

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RE: The Submillimeter Array
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Submillimeter array

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Credit g-na

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A cosmic event High up in the Chilean Andes, more than 5,000 metres above sea level, astronomers are building a telescopic "time machine" that promises to offer a glimpse of the moment the universe was created 13 billion years ago.

A huge international project is under way at Chajnantor to build a $1bn telescope made up of 64 individual dishes or antennas, each of which will be the size of a two-storey suburban house.
The array will act in unison to peer through the dense dust clouds of deep space, so permitting astronomers to gather ancient relic radiation from the earliest stars and galaxies that formed some 13 billion years ago.

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Atacama Large Millimeter Array
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The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), shown here in this artist's conception, will follow the trail blazed by the SMA and bring a depth of understanding to planet, star and galaxy formation in the southern skies.
To be located in Chile, ALMA will be comprised of 64 12-meter-diameter movable antennas, providing a resolution as fine as 0.01 arcseconds.
Credit: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)



-- Edited by Blobrana on Wednesday 25th of November 2009 03:41:42 PM

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