First 7-metre ALMA Antenna Handed Over to Observatory

The first of twelve 7-metre antennas has been handed over to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) observatory in Chile. ALMA will have an array of fifty antennas with 12-metre diameter dishes, as well as a system known as the Atacama Compact Array (ACA), provided by Japan, of which this new 7-metre antenna is part. The ACA will have a total of twelve 7-metre dishes and four 12-metre dishes, and will be particularly important for ALMA’s observations of the broader structure in extended astronomical objects such as giant clouds of molecular gas.

The 7-metre antenna is seen here at the ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF), at an altitude of 2900 metres in the foothills of the Chilean Andes. These antennas are being provided by Japan through a contract with MELCO (Mitsubishi Electric Corporation).

The antennas are manufactured in Japan, then disassembled and shipped to Chile. They are reassembled and tested at the OSF, before being handed over to the observatory. After further testing, and the installation of sensitive receivers, each of the antennas will take its place — together with antennas from the other ALMA partners — on the plateau of Chajnantor at 5000 metres altitude, where the ALMA telescope will operate.

ALMA is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ESO is the European partner in ALMA.




About the Image

Release date:23 May 2011, 10:00
Size:3819 x 2702 px

About the Object

Name:Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array
Type:• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory

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