ESO’s ALMA Shatters Previous Imaging Records

A Dying Star Credit :  ESO

A Dying Star
Credit : ESO

The European Southern Observatory in Chile is in some ways the Earth bound counterpart to the Hubble Space Telescope, providing both groundbreaking research as well as simply stunning images of deep space which often defy imagination, such as the image shown above, taken with the Very Large Telescope, which shows a planetary nebula surrounding a dying star 3300 light years away.

ESO is in the process of completing construction of  ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, a network of 66 12 meter antennas spread over a 16 km baseline.  It is the largest astronomical project in the world.  Prior to even being completed, ALMA successfully targeted a defined area of space roughly the size of our Moon, and captured more, and clearer images of early star forming galaxies than other telescopes had done in the past decade.  ALMA did it in a few hours.

Here is the complete story.

and here is ALMA, still under construction:

ALMA  Credit : ESO

Credit : ESO

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