The ALMA Inauguration Video News Release and ESOcast
14 March 2013
On 13 March 2013, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Observatory was formally inaugurated during an official ceremony held at the ALMA site on the Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes (eso1312). ALMA is a partnership between Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The guest of honour was the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera. Many high-level officials and representatives of the ALMA international partnership were also present, along with ALMA workers and people from the nearby communities.
ALMA is the largest astronomical project in the world and this ceremony marks its formal transition from a construction project to a fully fledged observatory. ALMA consists of an array of 66 antennas spread over an area 16 kilometres in diameter. More than 50 of ALMA’s antennas are already in operation, and all 66 are fully assembled. The ALMA correlator, a record-breaking supercomputer — the only one of its kind working at this altitude — and which will be used to combine the data from the individual antennas,is also complete. The correlator is capable of performing as many calculations per second as three million laptop computers combined.
With this Video News Release and ESOcast we invite you to share in the excitement of the ALMA inauguration and learn more about this huge international project. You can also contemplate the breathtaking images from ALMA itself and views of its unique environment in the Atacama Desert. Experience, along with the ALMA workers and scientists, the challenges of building and operating a world-class science facility in one of the harshest environments in the world.
Credits: ESO & ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/NRAO/General Dynamics C4 Systems, Christoph Malin (christophmalin.com), L. Calçada, M. Kornmesser & the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
Music: John Stanford (nigelstanford.com).
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About the Announcement