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How the Massive ALMA Antennas Move in Perfect Unison

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How the Massive ALMA Antennas Move in Perfect Unison

Short | 01:48

For all 66 ALMA antennas to move in exact unison, the precision of the dish surface must be less than the width of a strand of hair. Witnessing them whirl in the desert is a magnificent sight.

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On a high plateau in a remote desert in northern Chile lies the largest observatory on Earth, ALMA, or Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array. The name refers to a network of 66 massive radio telescopes, working in unison to observe the birth and death of stars and planets, and answer centuries-old questions about the origins of our universe. Witness the history of ALMA, the remarkable product of a 20-year global effort, and see how it is already changing our basic understanding of the cosmos, and astronomy itself.

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