The Atacama Large Millimeter Array, or ALMA, is an international
collaboration to develop a world-class telescope composed of a group of
64 radio-telescope antennas that will work together to study the
universe from a site in the foothills of Andes Mountains.
Each of ALMA's 64 antenna dishes will measure 39 feet (12 m) wide. The
ALMA antennas will be movable. At its largest, the array will measure 10
miles wide (14 km), and at its smallest, only 500 feet (150 m). The ALMA
correlator, or specialized computer that combines the
information received by the antennas, will perform an astounding 16,000
million-million (1.6x1016) operations per
second. ALMA's location in the Atacama Desert is one of the highest,
places on Earth, making it ideal for astronomical research at millimeter
wavelengths, which are absorbed by atmospheric moisture.
When completed (in 2011), ALMA will be the largest and most capable
imaging array of telescopes in the world. For more information, please
visit the .
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