Delivbery of first ALMA dish

ALMA Dish Takes the High Road

The Chajnantor plateau in Chile's Atacama Desert has an elevation of more than 16,000 feet — harsh conditions for humans, but perfectly suited to the world's greatest array of submillimeter-wave radio telescopes, now under construction.

19 dishes of the ALMA radio array

ALMA Radio Array Gets to Work

High in the Chilean Andes, at the nosebleed altitude of 16,400 feet (5,000 m), the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array has begun to probe the depths of the radio universe as never before.

ALMA Observatory

How ALMA Works Its Magic

In the November 2013 issue of S&T, I write about a revolutionary new telescope being built in the Chilean Atacama Desert. The Atacama Large Millimiter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) explores a little-known region of the electromagnetic spectrum, waves that are longer than the farthest infrared but shorter than radio waves. Submillimeter/millimeter waves come from frigid gas just…

Fomalhaut debris disk

New ALMA Images Stoke Exoplanet Flame

Astronomers have released the first new science results from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a still-under-construction network of 66 antennas in northern Chile. The new observations suggest the contentious Fomalhaut star system may have two small planets shepherding its gigantic ring.