From an altitude of over 5,000 meters, the night sky view from Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes is breathtaking. The dark site's rarefied atmosphere, at about 50 percent sea level pressure, is also extremely dry. That makes it ideal for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). By the end of 2012 there will be over 60 radio telescopes on this site, each 12 or 7 meters in diameter. The completed ALMA will revolutionize radio astronomy. ALMA is known as the world's largest ground-based astronomy project now involving many countries. With two other TWAN colleagues we were on this high-altitude observatory site in November 2011 for an imaging expedition assigned by the European Southern Observatory (ESO); one of the main partners of ALMA. Note how the light of the setting moon disappear from the antennas in the beginning of the night. The Large Magellanic Cloud and the southern Milky Way shine above ALMA. Stars of the Southern Cross and the coalsack dark nebula appear at the end of the video in the lower middle. All rights reserved by Babak Tafreshi (btafreshi@twanight.org) of The World at Night (TWAN) program.

j vimeo.com/32701942

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