World's biggest Telescope ALMA

Hey people ...

I was off for a seriously long time and now I'm back. My hunger for tech stuff has only got bigger and I'm glad i am back after this long.

Coming back to the serious stuff :), a news has come in which states that one of the powerful telescopes ever has been built and it's coming online. That is good news for star gazers and space lovers.

The opportunities to gaze at the unknown and then knowing about it are countless. Thumbs up to the many people who contribute to such high-end projects.

It's called the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submilimeter Array). This astronomical wonder has been setup entirely in Chile at the Chilean Atacama desert. The telescope is a collection of four 27-foot telescopes that can all link together to observe one object. Cool huh.



ALMA’s power is not only in imaging but in spectroscopy. The light collected by ALMA can be spread out by frequency (or wavelength, depending on your tastes) where tons and TONS of emission lines can be seen from molecules in space. The identities of many of these molecules are unknown, so ALMA will be like a chemistry lab for the universe as well, with its own set of tools.

The ALMA site with the average annual rainfall below 100 mm is the perfect place for a new telescope capable of detecting radio waves just millimeters in wavelength. Indeed, radio waves penetrate a lot of the gas and dust in space, and can pass through the Earth’s atmosphere with little distortion. However, if the atmosphere above ALMA contained water, the radio signals would be heavily absorbed – the tiny droplets of water scatter the radio waves in all directions before they reach the telescope, and would degrade the quality of the observations. 

The online images can be seen here at ALMA