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Sixteen Antennas on Chajnantor Plateau

Sixteenth antenna of ALMA reaches the heights of Chajnantor Plateau in the Atacama Desert

The 16th antenna of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has reached the heights of the Chajnantor Plateau, in the Atacama Desert of South America, after having been transported to the observatory's Array Operations Site (AOS). The 12-meter-diameter antenna, which was a European deliverable, has arrived at 5,000 meters above sea level where it joined antennas from the North American and the East Asian ALMA partners. Although this sounds like just another number, 16 is the number of antennas specified for ALMA to begin its first science observations, and is therefore an important milestone for the project. Soon, astronomers will begin conducting new scientific research with ALMA.

ALMA is an international astronomy facility that is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. It is funded in part by the National Science Foundation. To learn more, visit the ALMA website. (Date of Image: unknown)

Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), R. Durán (ALMA)

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