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  • 04 March, 2023

  • 5 Min Read

ALMA Telescope

ALMA Telescope

ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, will soon get hardware and software updates.

More about the news:

  • The improvement will enable it to gather significantly more data and generate photographs that are crisper than ever.
  • The correlator, a supercomputer that integrates the information from many antennas and enables astronomers to make extremely detailed images of celestial objects, will be replaced, and this will be the most major modernization made to ALMA.
  • One of the fastest supercomputers in the world is ALMA's correlator.

About Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array at Atacama:

  • ALMA is a cutting-edge radio telescope that analyses astronomical objects at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. It has 66 antennas.
  • They can look through dust clouds and aid astronomers in studying faint and far-off galaxies and stars.
  • Also, it has exceptional sensitivity, enabling it to pick up radio signals that are incredibly faint.

Location: Northern Chile's Atacama Desert.

  • It has been fully functional since 2013, and has helped astronomers make significant discoveries, including that of starburst galaxies and the dust generation inside supernova 1987A.


The European Southern Observatory, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory of the United States all contributed to its design, planning, and construction (ESO).

  • A cooperation between the United States, 16 European nations, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Chile is responsible for running ALMA. The announcement was made after all of the partners had approved the financing needed for the modifications.

Why is ALMA in the Atacama Desert of Chile?

  • ALMA is located on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile's Atacama Desert at an elevation of 16,570 feet (5,050 metres) above sea level.
  • Reason: Because Earth's atmosphere readily absorbs water vapour at millimetre and submillimeter wavelengths, which are the waves it observes.
  • The desert is also the driest area on Earth, which means that most of its nights are cloud- and moisture-free, making it an ideal place for astronomical observation.
Findings of Telescope:
  • A very young T Tauri star named HL Tauri, located in the constellation Taurus, is around 450 light years away from Earth. In 2013, starburst galaxies ALMA gave precise views of the protoplanetary disc surrounding the star.
In 2015:
  • It assisted in the observation of the Einstein ring, a phenomena that happens when light from a galaxy or star passes past a large object on its way to the Earth.
  • The supermassive black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy was also captured in its first photograph.
  • In May 2022, scientists presented the image.

Source: The Hindu

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