ALMA SSE imaging mosaic
A mosaic of all the “interferometered” people and objects at the ALMA Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition stand… .. nice bunch of people - I can spot myself in there a few times. If came along you might be able to spot yourself!
Fauna and flora in the Chilean Chajnantor plain
Although it is an ambitious scientific project activities on the ALMA site not only focus on building the world’s most advanced astronomical observatory but also on the historical and environmental aspects in this unique region. We have a beautiful, fully illustrated book about the fauna and flora in the Chilean Chajnantor plain that is free to download (PDF file, 6.25MB) that...
Our stand in action...
Have you been "interferometered" yet?
If not you should come down to the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition and you can see what you would look like through the eyes of the worlds most power radio telescope. If you have then take a look at our twitpic feed… as you could have uploaded the result for the whole world to see just like my hand: — Sam George
Radio galaxy Centaurus A, as seen by ALMA
Venus before the transit..
Venus shortly before it moved in front of the Sun (the famous Venus transit) last month on June 5th. At that stage Venus was not visible through optical telescopes because its dark side was turned towards us. ALMA detects millimeter and submillimeter waves which are given off by the hot atmosphere of Venus (and of course even more strongly by the hot surface of the Sun). More on this on the...
Some ALMA facts..
The Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array (ALMA) is an array of radio telescopes in the Atacama desert of northern Chile. When ALMA is completed it will consist of: a giant array of 12-m antennas with baselines up to 16 km an additional compact array of 7-m and 12-m antennas to greatly enhance ALMA’s ability to image extended targets This is located on the Chajnantor...
Virtual Tour of ALMA
Want to take a tour around ALMA? Well we can offer you a virtual tour of the site without the hassle of having to fly to Chile… ALMA virtual tour.
ALMA in action...
A new window into the Universe has opened with the start of Early Science at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Watch the world’s most complex ground-based telescope in action and get a first look at its unique views of the Universe.
Robust ALMA antennas
The ALMA antennas are designed and built to face very rough conditions. ALMA is located in one of the driest locations on the Earth but very occasionally snow can cover the site…
Live from Chajnantor
The Array Operations Site (AOS) is located at 5,000 meters altitude - a live feed is provided via a webcam.
We are open! Come down and visit us →
summer-science: Opening times Tue 3 July 10 am - 9 pm Wed 4 July 10 am - 5 pm Thu 5 July 10 am - 5 pm Fri 6 July 10 am - 9 pm Sat 7 July 10 am - 9 pm Sun 8 July 10 am - 6 pm Note: Last entry is 30 minutes before closing time Address 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG Public transport Underground stations: Charing Cross and Piccadilly Circus Bus routes: 12, 13, 15 and 453. Coach...
ALMA unveils details of a galaxy far, far away...
ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) scientists have detected a galaxy that is 12.4 billion light-years away! This was detected via looking at the emission line of Nitrogen in the galaxy. At that distance we are looking at a time that is just 1.3 billion years after the big bang. This means that astronomers are able to see if there is any difference between the contents of galaxies...
Setting up the stand..
… were currently putting the last touches to our Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2012 stand.. (picture by Sarah Graves) (picture by Adam Avison)
We put the final bits and pieces together for our stand on Friday… lots of heavy lifting and fun with simulators and Frisbees.
5000m in Chile
Sarah Graves The ALMA telescope is on a plateau at 5000m altitude in Chile — the same height as the Everest base camp. I got to go up to visit the site in May. Before my trip up, I’d already spent a few days at the ALMA operations site at 2900m. Even this is high enough that you really notice the effect of altitude — carrying my suitcase the short distance into my room the...
Some of the ALMA SSE team as seen through our interferometry simulator
Scientists having fun with the simulator...
We have finished writing the code (in glorious Python) to get our ALMA demonstrator for the Summer Science Exhibition, so here are a few quick previews…. Here is Adam looking at his best through the eyes of an interferometer: Note the fake colours, what we are using to make the images is the brightness - then for fun we add the really the garish colour scheme. The redder the brighter....
ALMA - a video introduction
An introduction to ALMA by scientists involved in the ALMA observatory exhibition at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2012 : Dr John Richer, Dr Rosie Bolton and Dr Samuel George talk about ALMA science and life as a radio astronomer (this was filmed at the MRAO, Cambridge): Dr Adam Avison discussing ALMA science and the life of a scientist whilst out observing: — Sam...
ALMA Time-lapse sequences
Not only does the Atacama desert provide ALMA with a fantastic view of our Universe at millimetre wavelengths but it provide a stunning naked-eye backdrop of stars in our Milky Way: Shot on location at the ALMA array in the Atacama Desert, Chile on June 2010 by Jose Francisco Salgado — Sam George
Yes, you read that correctly, there are fully robotic models of the ALMA transporter and antennas made out of LEGO! The ALMA LEGO Simulator are scale robots of one of the ALMA antennas and the transporter truck. Both devices are controlled remotely via Bluetooth communication and are designed to provide a coordinated movement of the antennas and the rearrangement of the ALMA antennas by rising...
Want to build your own model ALMA antenna?
Well you’ll be in luck! There are paper models for the 12m antennas available. The paper antenna is movable along the elevation and azimuth axes. If you are careful then you can end up having one just like that made by one of research students at the University of Cambridge, Djelal Osman: Along with the ALMA antennas you will also find the antenna transporter. So you could build you own...
Would you do me the great honour?...
Suddenly things got very busy in the UK ARC Node office last week, not only is the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibtion less than a month away (gulp!) but last Thursday saw the second ever ALMA Call for Proposals announced (the deadline for which is just after the Exhibition! Gulp gulp!). A call for proposals is a period of time in which astronomers around the world metaphorically get...
A day in the life of ... an ALMA Support...
Hi All, Seeing as there are many types of people, who do different types of jobs, all working toward producing the ALMA Stand at this years SSE we thought it would be good see what they each do! So to kick this off it’s me, Adam. I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Manchester, and my job title is Support Scientist at the UK ALMA regional centre node (or UK ARC Node...
Look sharp! The Power of Interference
The first images from ALMA are trickling in, and one in particular really shows its power, and demonstrates beautifully why we need to build it. It’s an image of (half of) the dust ring around a nearby star, Fomalhaut, a system we believe may harbour planets. The blue arc shows the glowing dust emission measured by ALMA, and the background image in red/white is the same object but taken by...
Busy Busy Busy
Hi again, Such a busy few weeks! After our road trip to Cambridge to plan for the SSE, members of the UK ALMA Regional Centre have been busy busy busy! Adam (the guy who is currently writing this post) went off to Sweden to use the 20m telescope at Onsala for 5 days, (check out the scientist profile video, which I filmed there, coming soon!). Shortly after that the whole of UK ALMA team were at...
As the ALMA stand at this years Royal Society Exhibition is being put together jointly by the University of Manchester and the University of Cambridge telephone calls and emails are happening thick and fast! But there are somethings you just can’t do over the phone on in an email, so last week two of the team from Manchester (George Bendo and myself), hopped in the car, put the pedal to the...
Hello from ALMA in the UK
Hi everyone! I just wanted to say hello from the team that is bringing you the ALMA exhibition at this years Royal Society Summer Exhibition. So… Hello! We’re all currently busily working away to make the ALMA stand as exciting and interactive as possible! Just as a taster of what we might have in store this July here is a prototype image of what one of our team would look like if...