SCIENCE: putting giant antennae on mountains

Science is awesome.


Click the image to biggify.

The European Southern Observatory says:

The first European antenna for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has reached new heights, having been transported to the observatory's Array Operations Site (AOS) on 27 July 2011. The 12-metre diameter antenna has arrived at the Chajnantor plateau, 5000 metres above sea level. Here, it joins antennas from the other international ALMA partners, bringing the total number at the AOS to 16.

The plateau's elevated location -- 2100 metres higher than the OSF -- gives it the extremely dry conditions that are vital for observing at millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths, since these faint signals from space are easily absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere

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Chajnantor is pronounced 'chuck-nan-torr', which I found on their website in 2009.

Cool! Thanks Will!