ALMA at the SSE
Radio galaxy Centaurus A, as seen by ALMA

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.

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 not long after the big bang and now. The result of this work shows that the composition was already close to the elemental composition of the present Universe. Thus suggesting that intense star formation activities had occurred in the early Universe. 

More on this work can be found in the ALMA press release and if you fancy taking a read you can also freely download the science paper

— Sam George