Meet ALMA: Amazing Photos from Giant Radio Telescope

ALMA Radio Telescope Array in Chile


This picture of the ALMA radio antennas on the Chajnantor Plateau in Chile, 16,500 feet above sea level, was taken a few days before the start of ALMA Early Science operations. Nineteen antennas are on the plateau. 

The Moon and the Arc of the Milky Way

Stéphane Guisard

The moon and the Milky Way shine over the ALMA telescope array in this photo. When the panorama was taken, the moon was lying close to the center of the Milky Way in the sky, its light bathing the antennas in an eerie night-time glow.

The Southern Milky Way Above ALMA

ESO/B. Tafreshi/TWAN

ESO Photo Ambassador Babak Tafreshi snapped this remarkable image of the antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), set against the splendour of the Milky Way.

Orion over ALMA Antennas

ESO/A. Russell

Orion over ALMA antennas, Chile.

Iconic Licancabur Watches Over Chajnantor

ESO/B. Tafreshi/TWAN

This impressive panoramic image depicts the Chajnantor Plateau — home of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) — with the majestic Licancabur volcano in the background.

Cacti Under the Milky Way

ESO/S. Guisard

Large cacti appear to point at the sky in the Chilean Atacama Desert. The Milky Way dominates the image, with the Large Magellanic Cloud in the lower right. These cacti (Echinopsis atacamensis) grow on average 0.4 inches (1 centimeter) per year, and reach heights of up to 30 feet (9 meters). These particular plants are found on the winding road connecting ESO's Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Operation Support Facility to the Array Operation Site at ESO, at an altitude of about 11,500 feet (3500 meters)

ALMA with Starry Night

ESO/B. Tafreshi

This panoramic view of Chajnantor plateau in Chile shows the antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) against a breathtaking starry night sky.

Whirling Southern Star Trails over ALMA

ESO/B. Tafreshi (

The antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) shine under the southern sky. Image released Dec. 31, 2012.

ALMA Telescope

ALMA, C. Padilla

The ALMA telescope, currently under construction in the Atacama Desert of Chile. Using the power of this new telescope, this study predicts it should be possible to measure black-hole masses in hundreds of galaxies.

Alma Telescope Chile View

ESO/C. Malin

The ALMA radio antennas bathed in red light in this image. In the background there is the southern Milky Way on the left and the Magellanic Clouds at the top.

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