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Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) - PLANNED

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Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)  (Associated Universities Inc/National Radio Astronomy Observatory)

Operations and Maintenance of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)  (Associated Universities Inc/National Radio Astronomy Observatory)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

Once completed, ALMA will be the most capable imaging radio telescope ever built and will bring to millimeter and submillimeter astronomy the high-resolution aperture synthesis techniques of radio astronomy.  ALMA will image at 1 millimeter wavelength with the same 0.1 arcsecond resolution achieved by the Hubble Space Telescope at visible wavelengths, and will form a critical component to the leading-edge optical, infrared, ultraviolet, and x-ray astronomical instruments of the twenty-first century.

ALMA will help educate and train U.S. astronomy and engineering students; at least 15 percent of ALMA’s approximately 1,000 yearly users are expected to be students.  There is already substantial involvement by graduate students in applied physics and engineering at universities participating in the ALMA Design and Development program, providing an opportunity to broaden participation in science and engineering by members of underrepresented groups. 

ALMA construction is carried out through a partnership between North America, Europe and Japan. The North American side, consisting of the U.S. and Canada, is led by the NSF awardee, Associated Universities Inc (AUI), through the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO).  ALMA will be located in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. 

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  • ALMA antennas
An artist's conception of the antennas for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA).
Courtesy of NRAO/AUI and ESO

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