The Atacama Large Millimetre/sub-millimetre Array (ALMA) telescope is still under construction, but it is officially open for business for interested astronomers and producing images.
Researchers with ALMA, an international astronomy observatory, made the announcement on Monday.
Today marks the recognition of the successful coalition of thousands of people from all over the world all working with the same goal: to build the world's most advanced radio telescope to see into the Universe's coldest, darkest places, where galaxies and stars and perhaps the building blocks of life are created, ALMA director Thijs de Graauw said in a statement.
The photo released shows two colliding spiral galaxies, according to the space Web site Science 2.0.
What distinguishes the ALMA telescope from other telescopes is that it can allow people to see much further than they would if they were using visible-light and infrared telescopes.
The ALMA telescope consists of linked antennas that act as a single giant telescope. It currently has one-third of the 66 antennas expected upon completion.
The antennas sit on the Chajnantor Plateau in Chile.
The 'M' in ALMA stands for 'millimeter/submillimeter' waves, because ALMA views the universe in these long wavelengths of light, much longer than the optical light we see with our eyes, ALMA deputy project scientist Alison Peck said in a statement. With millimeter and submillimeter waves, we can watch star and planet formation, investigate astrochemistry, and detect the light that is finally reaching us from the Universe's earliest galaxies.
While ALMA is officially ready to be utilized by astronomers, there will be a bit of a waiting period. Approximately 100 project proposals were given the green light to use the facility during the first nine-months.
- ‘Size 12 And Ready To Rock’ Author Meg Cabot Talks About Heroine Heather Wells, Katie Holmes And What She Thinks About ‘Chick Lit’
- Anne Rice?s Erotic ?Sleeping Beauty? Trilogy Republished, And The Timing Couldn?t Be Better
- Whitney Houston?s Friend BeBe Winans To Publish Book On Late Singer: Too Soon?
- ?The Bachelorette? 2012 Episode 9 Recap: Emily Maynard Declines Fantasy Suite, Sends Hunky Sean Home