ALMA: World`s Largest Telescope
Gerald John C. Guillermo
Hubble Space Telescope may be awesome but these new radio telescopes in Atacama Desert, Chile may be more awesome. Built in the driest place in the Earth, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array or ALMA provides the most distinct and the most precise images of local stars and planet formation and can also distinguish the birth of neighboring stars and some of the most distant, ancient galaxies. ALMA was initially a 50-50 partnership between the United States National Radio Astronomy Observatory and European Southern Observatory (ESO). The array has been extended with the help of the new Japanese, Taiwanese, and Chilean partners. ALMA is the largest and most expensive ground-based astronomical project costing about 1.5 billion US Dollars. Its official inauguration was last March 13, 2013. The 66 antennas, ranging in diameter from 7 m to 12 m will be able to look at planets and stars in the darkest and most remote corners of the universe. The project was developed in collaboration between North America, Europe, and East Asia. Researchers from these regions will have an advantage when it comes to using the equipment, with 10 percent of the telescope’s observing time reserved for Chilean scientists. The collected data will be processed using an advanced supercomputer installed in the second highest facility in the world, ranking second after CHARA or Center for High Resolution Astronomy in Mount Wilson California. With this new technology we can further explore the wonders of not only of the world but going universal. We can appreciate more of its splendor and beauty and continue to be God`s steward to all of God`s wonderful.
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