ALMA opens its eyes

As the BBC report, and see here also, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have released the first image obtained by their new telescope, the Atacama Large Millimetre/Sub-millimetre Array (ALMA) – even though the array isn’t expected to be completed until 2013.  It’s the focus of the latest ESOcast 36 – ALMA opens its eyes.

And here’s that image, of the colliding spiral Antennae Galaxies (also known as NGC 4038 and 4039).  [Image credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)]

A side-by-side comparison with a Very Large Telescope (VLT) image of the Antennae Galaxies. [Image credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO). Visible light image: ESO/Alberto Milani.]

And a composite of ALMA and Hubble observations of the Antennae Galaxies. [Image credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO). Visible light image: the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope]

Finally, from the people who brought us the wondrous sky above the VLT, here’s some, equally wondrous, time-lapse footage of the Chilean night sky above ALMA.  [Video credit: Footage – ESO/José Francisco Salgado and ESO ( ( Music – “It’s Inside Me, and it’s Inside It” by Cloudkicker ( Editing – Nicolás Bustos (]

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