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Alma telescope array switches on


Posted on Thursday, 14 March, 2013 | Comment icon 14 comments | News tip by: keithisco


Image credit: ALMA


 
Astronomers and scientists have celebrated the completion of the Alma telescope array in Chile.

Costing $1.4 billion and consisting of an array of 66 giant radio telescopes, the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array ( Alma ) is the largest and most ambitious astronomical project ever undertaken. The array is located 5,000m above sea level in Chile's Atacama desert where it has a clear view of the heavens through the thin atmosphere.

With Alma switched on astronomers hope to photograph distant galaxies dating back to the beginning of the universe and to witness the formation of planets through observations of dust and gas clouds. "It will help us answer where we come from or whether we are alone in the Universe," said project director Thijs de Graauw.

""Vapour makes it difficult to see the stars. That is why this place was ideal," said Baltasar Vigo, a Spanish scientist with the project."

  View: Full article |  Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (14)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Andromedan Starseed 333 on 14 March, 2013, 20:13
that's awesome guys but i will tell you the answer you want and that is the following:we are not alone and we have never been nor are we at the moment!!!i know that.although i cant prove it my intuition and gut feeling is telling me the truth and answers.as for the giant telescopes that's cool and very useful
Comment icon #6 Posted by ashven on 14 March, 2013, 21:10
Exciting times ahead i'm sure but the report states it hopes to photograph distant galaxies from the beginning of time,well if the universe is of an unknown size and quantity of galaxies how will they be sure they're correct as the early galaxies may be an eternally long distance from us,am i thinking to much?
Comment icon #7 Posted by keithisco on 14 March, 2013, 21:17
You are right about the sub-millimetric sensitivities. It would appear that only very brief windows of opportunity exist with a het of 900Ghz and a noise temp of c100K. It all depends on the capabilities of the coolers on the "Front End". I am sure this has all been considered and mitigated for however.
Comment icon #8 Posted by keithisco on 14 March, 2013, 21:20
Galaxies take a finite time to coalesce, so any observed Galaxies 14Byrs old had an earlier Genesis. If Galaxies are found that appear to be that old then we need to re-think the Big Bang IMO
Comment icon #9 Posted by 27vet on 14 March, 2013, 21:25
There was a report a while back in a French science journal that a galaxy older than 14bn years had been detected, making them rethink the age of the universe. I don't remember the name and I'm not sure whether it was a peer reviewed journal or regular magazine.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Virot Maglan on 15 March, 2013, 16:40
You wouldn't happen to mean Nature would you? Nature published an article on the 13th about the ALMA array discovering starburst galaxies by way of gravitational lensing.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Andromedan Starseed 333 on 16 March, 2013, 19:00
no matter the amount of telescopes we put to search for E.T life in the universe the fact is that they know we exist already and know where we are too.will they talk to us well that is another different matter.i don't believe they want to talk to us yet because the way humanity is at the moment,like aggressive,violent,scary and etc.
Comment icon #12 Posted by 27vet on 16 March, 2013, 21:07
If there are unfriendly aliens out there that know we exist, wouldn't they have annihilated us already? (Hey Donteatus where are you?) As far as SETI is concerned, any intelligent civilization would emit radiation in one or other spectrum. I don't think that they could or would hide their emissions unless they are really far more advanced. Given the probability that there is more than one intelligent species out there, surely one day some of their emissions will reach earth?
Comment icon #13 Posted by bison on 17 March, 2013, 0:37
If we appear dangerous to extraterrestrials, it might seem to them a good idea to begin preparing us for responsible, peaceful galactic citizenship. We've already sent out space probes that will leave our solar system. In the long term thinking of a very long-lived extraterrestrial civilization, we may appear likely to soon have the ability to intrude into the rest of the galaxy.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 17 March, 2013, 1:12
Let's not take this too far off topic. There is an entire forum for the discussion of extraterrestrial life, this topic is supposed to be about the ALMA telescope array.
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