Giant cacti at the ALMA site

This arid area on the slope of the Andes range of the II Region of Chile surprisingly shows a considerable richness in terms of flora and fauna. In the range of altitudes between 3000 and 4000 metres, the ALMA site is densely populated by giant cacti scientifically named Echinopsis Atacamensis and popularly known as “Cardones”. Although they grow very slowly, they can reach the impressive height of 9 m. They have white flowers and comestible fruits but they were massively exploited in the past for their wood, used for construction and handcraft. Today they are protected species and the ALMA project has actively cooperated in their conservation. ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, is the largest astronomical project in existence. The ALMA Project is strongly committed to the protection of the historical and environmental heritage of this unique region.

Credit:

ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

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About the Image

Id:alma-hh-19
Type:Photographic
Release date:14 June 2010, 17:55
Size:2552 x 1920 px

About the Object

Name:Chajnantor
Type:• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory
• X - ALMA

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