ALMA has many mothers

To mark the inauguration of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the ALMA partner organizations have produced a brochure explaining how scientists and engineers from Europe, North America and East Asia, in cooperation with the Republic of Chile, have collaborated on the largest ground-based astronomical project in existence.

The challenges of planning and building a science facility like ALMA are enormous. Its remote location and the extreme environment on the Chajnantor Plateau, 5000 meters up in the Chilean Andes and in the driest desert of the world, the Atacama, put harsh demands on both people and technology.

This brochure outlines how the participating organisations have built ALMA and details each region’s contribution to the project. Each one of these contributions is vital to ALMA’s success and such a project would not have been possible for any single nation to achieve.

ALMA, an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA. … (ESO)


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