Today (March 13, 2013), the ALMA Telescope in northern Chile will officially go online. ALMA stands for Atacama Large Millimeter/Sub Millimeter Array. And the telescope is very powerful – the most powerful yet constructed according to its builders – perched in Chile’s high desert at an altitude of 16,500 feet, or 5,000 meters.
ALMA will explore places beyond imagination – the distant birthplaces of planets, stars, and galaxies centuries old – to help us understand our place in the cosmos. Astronomers call this new telescope ALMA, which is the Spanish word for soul.