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Advertisement It is an incredibly rare phenomenon - and the shot of a lifetime. This light has wavelengths of around a millimetre, between infrared light and radio waves, and is therefore known as millimetre and submillimetre radiation.
ALMA comprises 66 high-precision antennas, spread over distances of up to 16 kilometres. This global collaboration is the largest ground-based astronomical project in existence.
The technology has to be assembled bang dating space tested at the OSF because the air is much denser there than on the plateau, and workers can complete their tasks without the adverse health risks associated with working at high altitude. The telescope itself is high on the Chajnantor plateau in the Chilean Andes and is a state-of-the-art telescope to study light from some of the coldest objects in the Universe.
The secret to Alma's incredible resolution comes from two factors: height and distance.
The observatory's highest receivers sit on a plateau some 16,ft 5, metres above sea level. This is far above most of Earth's atmosphere and water vapour, which obscures observations. Astronomers working in Alma's facility at 9, feet 2, meters must use supplemental oxygen for extended stays.