A Tour To ALMA - The World's Biggest Telescope

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Old 24-Mar-2014
Thumbs up A Tour To ALMA - The World's Biggest Telescope

Let's take a pictorial tour to ALMA project in the Chilean Desert where scientists working on the world's largest telescope at one of the most dried up places on Earth. Which is situated at an altitude of 16,400 ft. This altitude is somewhat at half the height at which a jumbo jet flies and is 4x more than the height of Ben Nevis.

The telescope is being called the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) and enjoys the titles of "world's largest and world's highest telescope. It is also the most expensive of its kind with a price tag of 1billion. Speculations regarding this telescope are quite promising where it is being said that it will allow the scientists to track what happened right after the universe creation.

The arrangement at the edge of Andes requires some precautions as well. Altitude sickness has to be factored in for and engineers perform as much work as possible on the lower ground where the control center is situated. The telescope site is visited with minimal frequency and workers ensure that they are carrying oxygen tanks with them.

Moving on to ALMA, it is made up of 66 huge antennae, which collect even the faintest radio waves that are then processed by a supercomputer. The cost to build this machine was 950million and was built under the notion of; in search of our cosmic origins. The idea is to gather info regarding where the planets, stars and the universe came from. ALMA collects radio waves instead of the optical light and this makes it capable to pierce even the dense dust clouds that are present in deep space.

The telescope still has to be operated at full power. However, when operated with all the dishes enabled, the resulting image will be, when compared with Hubble space technology, ten times sharper. To give our readers a bit of perspective; if you were to obtain such an image from single ground based radio telescope it would have to be around 10 miles in width.

Old 25-Mar-2014
Und3rgr0und J4tt1
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