New Movie: ALMA — In Search of Our Cosmic Origins
13 Mars 2013
To mark the occasion of the inauguration of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)  on 13 March 2013, ESO, with its international partners, has released a new movie called ALMA — In Search of Our Cosmic Origins. This 16-minute video presents the history of ALMA, from the early days of the project several decades ago to the recent first science results.
The movie is illustrated by dramatic helicopter footage and has a soundtrack that includes expressive music especially composed by Toomas Erm (ESO). You are taken on a journey to ALMA’s home on the Chajnantor Plateau, at an altitude of 5000 metres, in the unique environment of the Chilean Atacama Desert.
The movie tells the story of the project from its earliest beginnings, when Europe, North America and East Asia developed a common concept for a new, large telescope for millimetre and submillimetre wavelength observations to observe the coldest and most distant objects in the Universe. It also charts the search for the perfect location and the technical and logistical challenges posed by the building of such a massive infrastructure under extremely harsh conditions and in a remote place.
The movie includes detailed shots of the complex and fascinating technology that ALMA depends on, and explains how the 66 antennas were installed on the high desert plain. It also provides insights into the exciting scientific developments that this, the most powerful telescope of its kind, will bring. These expectations are already being fulfilled by the first science results, obtained before the facilities were even complete.
 The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan. ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.
Lars Lindberg Christensen
ESO education and Public Outreach Department
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6761
Cell: +49 173 3872 621