July 2012 — ALMA antennas under the Milky Way

Four antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) gaze up at the star-filled night sky. The Moon lights up the scene on the right, while the band of the Milky Way stretches across the upper left.

ALMA is being constructed at an altitude of 5000 metres on the Chajnantor plateau in the Atacama Desert in Chile. This is one of the driest places on Earth and this dryness, combined with the thin atmosphere at high altitude, offers superb conditions for observ­ing the Universe at millimetre and submilli­metre wavelengths. The ALMA project is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile.


ESO/José Francisco Salgado

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