Striking a pose in the centre of this dramatic image is ESO Photo Ambassador Petr Horálek. Under the brilliant arc of the Milky Way, Horálek is standing amongst the antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).
ALMA is the world’s largest ground-based facility for observations in the millimeter/submillimeter regime located on the Chajnantor plateau, 5000 meters altitude in northern Chile. It enables transformational research into the physics of the cold Universe, probes the first stars and galaxies, and directly images the formation of planets. ALMA comprises a giant array of fifty 12-m antennas, which can be configured to achieve baselines up to 16 km. It is equipped with state-of-the-art receivers that cover all the atmospheric windows up to 1 THz. In addition, a compact array of 7-m and 12-m antennas greatly enhance ALMA’s ability to image extended sources.
The European ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) provides the interface between the ALMA project and the European science community. It supports its users mainly in the areas of proposal preparation, observation preparation, data reduction, and data analysis.
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