The magnificent light of the Milky Way over ALMA

The magnificent light of the Milky Way over ALMA

The Milky Way crosses the sky above the antenna DV-21 of the submillimeter array ALMA in the Atacama Desert (north of Chile)

Here is a magnificent view of the Milky Way galaxy filled with misty clouds of interstellar gas, dust and sparkling star clusters. All this sight is available in one of the darkest corners of our world. At an altitude of 1600 m above sea level is the submillimeter array ALMA - an astronomical observatory with 66 radio telescopes. Located in the Atacama Desert (north of Chile).

From the bottom right you can see a faint white glow - Zodiacal Light. It is a ray of light extending along the ecliptic plane caused by the scattering of sunlight in particles of cosmic dust. Light is seen above the antenna DV-21 - a telescope plate with a diameter of 12 meters, covering radio beams from giant cold clouds in interstellar space. 66 antennas can be located in the desert to create different configurations, where the distance between them ranges from 150 m to 16 km. As a result, a single giant telescope is formed, which is much larger than you can actually build. In reality, the maximum resolution of ALMA exceeds the visible waves of the Hubble Space Telescope.

ALMA is owned by the European Southern Observatory. This is the most powerful telescope for observing the cold universe - molecular gas and dust. It is designed to study the building blocks of stars, planetary systems, galaxies and life itself, allowing you to solve the most exciting issues of our cosmic origin.

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