No this is not a captured alien spacecraft. This 12-metre diameter antenna is on its way up the Chilean Andes mountains, 16404 Feet above sea level… …there to join 15 others… and begin the first observations of the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array . ALMA as it’s known, will observe cool molecular gas between the stars… And examine radiation that has lingered since the Bing Bang. These data may drive breakthroughs in understanding how planets, stars, and galaxies grew. Why go to the trouble of placing ALMA more than three miles up in a very remote part of the planet? Well, the more atmosphere a signal must pass through, the more distorted that signal becomes. The cool and dry conditions at high elevation will make for much cleaner data. A total of 66 state-of-the-art antennas are being built. And when construction is complete in 2013, the ALMA array will become the worlds most powerful millimeter and submillimeter wavelegth telescope. For… I’m…
Over 16,000 feet up in the Chilean Andes, a multi-national group is constructing a complex antenna that could revolutionize our understanding the origins of the universe.