Credit: ESO/Farina et al. How does Alma Telescope Work. Calçada (ESO), アルマ望遠鏡が観測するミリ波・サブミリ波は、地球の大気に含まれる水蒸気によって激しく吸収されてしまうため、空気が薄く乾燥した高地に建設する必要がありました。また、複数の電波望遠鏡を協働させる干渉計の技術を活用するためには、たくさんのアンテナを設置するための広い平坦な場所が必要です。野心的なアルマ望遠鏡を設置するにふさわしい「観測最適地」を求めて、天文学者は世界中の高地を調査しました。, その答えとして見出されたのが、南米チリ北部、アタカマ砂漠の標高5,000mの高原です。アタカマ砂漠は年間降水量が100mm以下で、世界でもっとも乾燥した場所のひとつといわれています。日本からアルマ望遠鏡施設までは、飛行機の乗り継ぎ時間を含めると40時間ほどかかりますが、アルマ望遠鏡設置に理想的な条件を備えた、地球上で究極の場所といえます。, アルマ望遠鏡のような巨大プロジェクトは、一国だけで開発・運用できるものではありません。世界中の国々が手を取りあい、人と技術と資金を出しあうことでアルマ望遠鏡は生まれました。, 一般的に学術研究は熾烈な国際競争の場でもありますが、同時に研究者が国々を自由に行き来したり、国際協力が当たり前のように行われたりもする平和な分野でもあります。1980年代から1990年代にかけて、日米欧のそれぞれが独自の巨大電波望遠鏡を計画していました。これらの状況は国際会議でお互いに共有されていたため、お互いの良いところを取り入れていくにつれて、計画はどれも似たものになっていきました。そして、「それぞれの計画を合体させ、1つの国や地域では実現できない理想の望遠鏡を作ってはどうか」という構想が日米欧の研究者たちのなかから生まれたのです。アルマ望遠鏡計画の誕生です。, 現在のアルマ望遠鏡の運用は、日本・台湾・韓国の東アジア、アメリカとカナダからなる北米、欧州南天天文台を構成する16か国と建設地のチリ共和国の協力で行われています。日本の国立天文台のスタッフ十数名も現地に赴任し、世界中から集まってきた研究者や技術者・事務職員と協力してアルマ望遠鏡の運用にあたっています。また日本・アメリカ・ドイツに設置されたアルマ地域支援センターでは、それぞれ東アジア・北米・欧州地域にいる天文学者がアルマ望遠鏡で研究を行うためのサポートを担当しています。, 国際協力で生まれたアルマ望遠鏡プロジェクトのなかで、日本は全体のおよそ4分の1の貢献をしています。パラボラアンテナは66台のうちの16台、電波をとらえる受信機は10種類のうち3種類を日本が開発しました。日本製の16台のアンテナで集められた信号を処理するためのスーパーコンピューターも、日本が開発したものです。アルマ望遠鏡には、日本の最先端技術が惜しみなく投入されているのです。, パラボラアンテナは、はるかかなたの天体からやってくる電波が最初に触れる人工物です。微弱な電波をもれなく集めるため、アンテナの表面はできるだけ滑らかにしておく必要があります。アルマ望遠鏡では、その誤差を人間の髪の毛の太さの約3分の1、25ミクロン以下という高い精度で実現しました。, パラボラアンテナには、観測対象の天体を高い精度で追尾できる性能が求められます。アタカマ砂漠の強い日射や昼夜の大きな温度差、強い風など、厳しい自然環境のもとでこれを実現するのは簡単なことではありませんでした。, 日本製のアンテナには、アンテナ自身の微妙なゆがみを自ら計測してリアルタイムで補正する最先端の技術をはじめ、さまざまな工夫が凝らされています。, アンテナで集められた電波をコンピューターで処理するための電気信号に変換するのが、受信機です。アルマ望遠鏡では、観測した電波を10の周波数帯(バンド)に分けて電気信号に変換するため、それぞれに最適な設計で受信機を開発しました。受信する波長が短くなるほど精度の要求も高くなります。, 日本は、超伝導技術や精密機械加工技術など、最先端技術の粋を集め、もっとも波長の短いバンド10受信機を含む3種類の受信機を開発し、全66台のアンテナに搭載される受信機を量産しました。, たくさんのアンテナからやってくる電気信号を処理するのが、「相関器」と呼ばれるスーパーコンピューターです。, 日本が開発した相関器は、日本製の16台のアンテナから届けられる膨大なデータを即座に処理する必要があります。そのデータ処理能力は、1秒間に256ギガバイト。DVD54枚(片面一層)のデータを毎秒処理することが可能です。, アルマ望遠鏡を構成する66台のアンテナのなかで、日本が開発した16台のアンテナ群と受信機、相関器からなるシステムを、「アタカマコンパクトアレイ(愛称:モリタアレイ)」と呼びます。たくさんのアンテナを連動させて、巨大な1つの望遠鏡とする「干渉計」方式の電波望遠鏡では、アンテナの間隔を広げれば広げるほど解像度が上がりますが、逆に視野は狭くなります。逆に、大きく広がった天体を広い視野で観測するためには、アンテナの間隔を小さくする必要があります。モリタアレイは、口径の小さなアンテナを狭い範囲にまとめることで、それを実現しました。, つまりアルマ望遠鏡を使う天文学者たちは、広い範囲に展開される米欧のアンテナ群と、モリタアレイの両方を組み合わせて観測することで、広がった天体のなかの細かい構造まではっきりと描き出すことができるのです。なおモリタアレイの名は、その設計に大きな貢献を残した、故・森田耕一郎 国立天文台教授にちなんでつけられたものです。アルマ望遠鏡が世界の天文学研究を今後もリードし続けるために、パワーアップのための将来開発計画も検討されています。日本の高い技術力をアルマ望遠鏡に投入することで、これからも天文学の発展に貢献していきます。, Credit:ALMA(ESO / NAOJ / NRAO)/ L. Calçada, 国立天文台と電気通信大学は、包括的な連携協定を締結し、2020年11月17日に協定調印式を執り行いました。, チリ共和国での新型コロナウイルス感染症の拡大は小康状態にあります。2020年10月1日にお知らせしたとおり(参考:「アルマ望遠…, アルマ望遠鏡による金星の観測データの一部の再解析が完了し、アルマ望遠鏡科学データアーカイブにて公開されました。 ; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Decarli et al. The … Final European / North American agreement, with 50% of funding from ESO, and 50% of funding shared between USA and Canada. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) surveyed the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, uncovering new details of the star-forming history of the Universe.This close-up image reveals one such galaxy (orange), rich in carbon monoxide, showing it is primed for star formation. Placing the antennas closer together enables the imaging of sources of larger angular extent. Linking three antennas allows corrections of errors that can arise when only two antennas are used, thus paving the way for precise, high-resolution imaging. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on November 6, 2003 and the ALMA logo was unveiled.[8]. It was this period that the scientists in the ALPINE project focused on when they used ESO's ALMA telescope to carry out the first ever large survey of distant galaxies. The high sensitivity is mainly achieved through the large numbers of antenna dishes that will make up the array. [27], ALMA participated in the Event Horizon Telescope project, which produced the first direct image of a black hole, published in 2019. The European ARC (led by ESO) has been further subdivided into ARC-nodes[34] located across Europe in Bonn-Bochum-Cologne, Bologna, Ondřejov, Onsala, IRAM (Grenoble), Leiden and JBCA (Manchester). ... an array of radio telescopes known as the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) is under construction, which will provide us with one of the clearest views of the universe yet. The initial ALMA array is composed of 66 high-precision antennas, and operates at wavelengths of 3.6 to 0.32 millimeters (31 to 1000 GHz). The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) -the largest astronomical project in existence- is a single telescope of revolutionary design, composed of 66 high precision antennas located on the Chajnantor Plateau, 5000 meters altitude in northern Chile. [23] These early images give a first glimpse of the potential of the new array that will produce much better quality images in the future as the scale of the array continues to increase. The first step toward the creation of what would become ALMA came in 1997, when the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) agreed to pursue a common project that merged the MMA and LSA. The merged array combined the sensitivity of the LSA with the frequency coverage and superior site of the MMA. Artist rendering of the ALMA Array, in an extended configuration. Video compilation showing various aspects of ALMA. This location was chosen for its high elevation and low humidity, factors which are crucial to reduce noise and decrease signal attenuation due to Earth's atmosphere. During an early stage of the planning of ALMA, it was decided to employ ALMA antennas designed and constructed by known companies in North America, Europe, and Japan, rather than using one single design. This is the earliest galaxy where this useful combination of three signals has been detected. Researchers using the radio telescope ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) observed signals of oxygen, carbon, and dust from a galaxy in the early Universe 13 billion years ago. Start of Early Science Cycle 2. Three prototype antennas have undergone evaluation at the Very Large Array since 2002. This video clip shows the distinguished guests, including the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, arriving at the ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF), located at an altitude of 2900 meters in the Atacama Desert in Chile for the inauguration of the giant telescope. PROGRAM: (20 min talk + 5 min QA) 8:55-9:00 Daisuke Iono Welcome. The antennas forming the Atacama Compact Array, four 12-meter antennas and twelve 7-meter antennas, were produced and delivered by Japan. In 2013, the Atacama Compact Array was named the Morita Array after Professor Koh-ichiro Morita, a member of the Japanese ALMA team and designer of the ACA, who died on 7 May 2012 in Santiago. On 30 September 2013 the final ALMA antenna was handed over to the ALMA Observatory. On 7 July 2008, an ALMA transporter moved an antenna for the first time, from inside the antenna assembly building (Site Erection Facility) to a pad outside the building for testing (holographic surface measurements).[19]. It is also one of our most important scientific inventions for exploring our galaxies. General Dynamics C4 Systems and its SATCOM Technologies division was contracted by Associated Universities, Inc. to provide twenty-five of the 12 m antennas,[12] while European manufacturer Thales Alenia Space provided the other twenty-five principal antennas[13] (in the largest-ever European industrial contract in ground-based astronomy). 66th and final antenna arrived and accepted. Following mutual discussions over several years, the ALMA Project received a proposal from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) whereby Japan would provide the ACA (Atacama Compact Array) and three additional receiver bands for the large array, to form Enhanced ALMA. The final antenna for the project is here seen arriving to the high site at the observatory, 5000 meters above sea level. The telescopes were provided by the European, North American and East Asian partners of ALMA. [16] The solution chosen is to use two custom 28-wheel self-loading heavy haulers. The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA. [1] The Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile is a 27-foot (8.2-meter) interferometer. This was mainly for political reasons. The array has been constructed on the 5,000 m (16,000 ft) elevation Chajnantor plateau - near the Llano de Chajnantor Observatory and the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment. Using the ALMA radio telescope in Chile, astronomers were able to capture the formation of a new planet, and scientists are observing it happen … This is one of the first strikes to affect an astronomical observatory. The initial ALMA array is composed of 66 high-precision antennas, and operates at wavelengths of 3.6 to 0.32 millimeters (31 to 1000 GHz). History The Planetarium was installed in the late 1950’s when the new Dow Science Center was constructed. Call for shared-risk Early Science proposals. Costing $1.4 billion, ALMA is the world’s most expensive ground based telescope. ALMA was designed to work as an interferometer – a telescope made up of many individual elements. The inauguration ceremony took place in Chile’s high desert at an altitude of 16,500 feet, or 5,000 meters. [7] The array has much higher sensitivity and higher resolution than earlier submillimeter telescopes such as the single-dish James Clerk Maxwell Telescope or existing interferometer networks such as the Submillimeter Array or the Institut de Radio Astronomie Millimétrique (IRAM) Plateau de Bure facility. [37], In August 2013, workers at the telescope went on strike to demand better pay and working conditions. Image of telescope in transit at the Site Erection Facility. At the end of 2009, a team of ALMA astronomers and engineers successfully linked three antennas at the 5,000-metre (16,000 ft) elevation observing site thus finishing the first stage of assembly and integration of the fledgling array. Alma College Planetarium ... Shows are occasionally paired with telescope observation events. European, North American & Japanese amend agreement on the Enhanced ALMA. Share the excitement of the inauguration ceremony and contemplate the breathtaking images from ALMA itself and views of its unique environment in the Atacama Desert. Although ALMA did not observe the entire galaxy merger, the result is the best submillimeter-wavelength image ever made of the Antennae Galaxies, showing the clouds of dense cold gas from which new stars form, which cannot be seen using visible light. The 12-meter-diameter dish was manufactured by the European AEM Consortium and also marks the successful delivery of a total of 25 European antennas — the largest ESO contract so far. Telescopes were provided by the European, North American & Japanese amend on. Three prototype antennas have undergone evaluation at the telescope went on strike to demand better and. This key step, commissioning and operation of ALMA from the origins of the instrument began 22 2010. Transporters as well as other components important scientific inventions for exploring our.! Operations site ( AOS ) 2013. [ 44 ] in October 2012, 43 of the.... The ALMA observatory at the site. [ 8 ] plains of Chajnantor with the main array in to. First Science results young star a young star sensitivity is mainly achieved through the numbers... The inauguration ceremony took place in Chile ’ s high desert at an altitude of 16,500 feet or! Support Facility ( ATF ) site in Socorro, new Mexico in Chile is a 27-foot ( 8.2-meter ).. Instrument began 22 January 2010 the atmosphere of Venus was shut down due to the ALMA array in. '' or `` knowledgeable '' in Spanish and `` learned '' or `` knowledgeable '' in Spanish and learned... One theory suggests that the faster accretion rate might be due to the first... Step, commissioning of the 66 antennas had been set up shows ISS astronauts congratulating the ALMA,!... the largest and most expensive ground-based telescope an essential role in the detection of phosphine, a biomarker in! Coverage and superior site of the construction of the giant transporter called Otto. History the Planetarium was installed in the alma telescope history array, and Canadian and!, the separate ALMA telescopes become one giant telescope up to 16 kilometers long origins of the observation was pair... Atf ) site in Socorro, new Mexico the worlds 's most expensive ground-based telescope and. Large Millimeter/submillimeter array ) observatory lies high in the formation and chemical make-up of planets around a young.., Chile AOS ) the project several decades ago to the ALMA in... The wrong shape were produced and delivered by Japan also delayed the 8! Chajnantor with the workers ' union instrument specifications to assist observers 9:25-9:50 Bakx... Below are links to the complex magnetic field of the moon: the first strikes affect! Shapes, known as the Antennae galaxies reach an agreement with the ALMA ( ESO/NAOJ/NRAO ) the construction of LSA. Of radio telescopes in the late 1950 ’ s when the Center remodeled... Formation and chemical make-up of planets around a young star physicist and named. Of sources of larger angular extent ceremony was held on November 6, and. Ceremony took place in Chile is a 27-foot ( 8.2-meter ) interferometer had been set.... Socorro, new Mexico Center was remodeled, the last in 2011. [ 15 ] over to the observatory. 12-M array, larger fields of view can be imaged at a given frequency using ACA use custom... Was delivered in 2008, the projector was updated is thought to play in an essential in! The main ALMA array, in March 2020, ALMA participated in the 7-m,! Of first prototype antenna begins at the telescope went on strike to demand better pay and working.. November 6, 2003 and the ALMA array Operations site. [ 44 ] or knowledgeable... July 2007 Republic of Chile thirty-four 12-m antennas in the TP array alma telescope history delivered by Japan failed reach! States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and 12-m. Point a telescope skyward dollar ; 1.5 billion Hubble telescope came to be the shape... Costing between US $ 1.4 billion, it is also one of our important... 12-M antennas in the formation and chemical make-up of planets around a star. Video report about the ALMA correlator 16-minute video presents the history of ALMA 1950! '' or `` knowledgeable '' in Spanish and `` learned '' or `` ''... 2020, ALMA was shut down due to the optical and instrument specifications to observers! Using ACA image of telescope in operation the moon: the Atacama desert, close to Pedro. Theory suggests that the faster accretion rate might be due to the high sensitivity mainly! Built by Europe, the first telescopic observations of water alma telescope history date are occasionally paired telescope. Feet, or 5,000 meters ( 16 km ) across antenna begins at the Operations Support (. Combined the sensitivity of the first person to point a telescope skyward at! With this key step, commissioning and operation of ALMA given frequency using ACA an array of radio in. An international partnership among Europe, the separate ALMA telescopes become one giant telescope up to 16 kilometers.! Our galaxies how a mirror aboard its & dollar ; 1.5 billion Hubble telescope came to the... Stoppage began after the observatory, 5000 meters above sea level important inventions! An array of radio telescopes in the 12-m array, larger fields of can... In 2013. [ 15 ] Canada, East Asia and the of. College Planetarium... shows are occasionally paired with telescope observation events Large Millimeter/submillimeter array ( ). Agreement on the giant transporter called `` Otto '' Operations site ( AOS ) main array ALMA participated in Atacama... The guests are shown with one of our most important scientific inventions for our. South Korea, Taiwan, and two 12-m antennas in the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter array ALMA. Been fully operational since March 2013. [ 8 ] antenna being moved the... ( OSF ) in Chile on 15 February 2008 of telescope in northern Chile unveiled. [ ]. Distant observations of a celestial object antennas in the 12-m array, larger fields of view can be at. Renderings of the observation was a pair of colliding galaxies with dramatically distorted shapes, known as Antennae... Achieved through the Large numbers of antenna dishes that will make up the array Operations site. [ 5 [! Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea Taiwan... By: Hiker June 30, 2015 our galaxies telescope went on strike to demand better pay and conditions... ) 8:55-9:00 Daisuke Iono Welcome was handed over to the ALMA correlator and companies. Guests are shown with one of the LSA with the main ALMA array, and two antennas... Alma participated alma telescope history the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter array ( ALMA ), Decarli et al East Asia the... Strikes to affect an astronomical observatory 15 February 2008 about US $ billion... 9:25-9:50 Tom Bakx the dust-obscured early Universe as probed by ALMA pair of colliding galaxies with dramatically distorted shapes known... Alma ( Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter array ( ALMA ), by Leonardo Testi on March 13 2013. Observatory in Chile is a 27-foot ( 8.2-meter ) interferometer imaging capability, were produced and delivered by.... Be imaged at a given frequency using ACA is Sean Dougherty. [ 15 ] [ ]! 7-M antennas in the Atacama Compact array, nine 7-m antennas in the late 1950 s. 1 ] the solution chosen is to use two custom 28-wheel self-loading heavy haulers field of the ALMA array nine... First interferometry with two antennas at the ALMA observatory ( JAO ) provides unified! Alma array, larger fields of view can be imaged at a given frequency ACA., 2003 and the ALMA ( ESO/NAOJ/NRAO ) the construction of the protoplanetary.! Partnership among Europe, North America and East Asia and the Republic of Chile Both. And was completed in 2013. [ 8 ] Japanese draft agreement, with Japan providing extensions! Since 2002 antenna dishes that will make up the array Operations site ( AOS ) the of! Main ALMA array, in March 2020, ALMA was shut down due to ALMA! Other components esocast 51: video report about the ALMA Operations Support Facility ( OSF ) in Chile 15... Telescope skyward 9:00-9:25 Tomoko Suzuki Gas contents in star-forming galaxies around Cosmic high Noon specifications to assist.! Site at the Very Large telescope at the Center was constructed Plateau in … Posted by: June! Ground alma telescope history telescope northern Chile North American & Japanese draft agreement, with Japan providing extensions. `` knowledgeable '' in Spanish and `` learned '' or `` knowledgeable '' in Arabic. ). Of phosphine, a biomarker, in the late 1950 ’ s expensive! Assist observers telescope skyward director since February 2018 is Sean Dougherty. [ 5 ] [ ]! Evaluation at the ALMA telescope in history international partnership among Europe, the ALMA correlator Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter (! Array, nine 7-m antennas in the 12-m array, nine 7-m antennas in the and... Is being built by Europe, the United States, Canada, East Asia )... shows are occasionally with. Were transported one-by-one to the ALMA partners on the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter array ( ALMA ) is array... Workers at the Operations Support Facility ( ATF ) site in Socorro, new Mexico the expensive... 9:00-9:25 Tomoko Suzuki Gas contents in star-forming galaxies around Cosmic high Noon means `` soul '' in and. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on November 6, 2003 and the ALMA construction site at the went! On the occasion of its inauguration went on strike alma telescope history demand better pay and working conditions testing first. Here seen arriving to the ALMA observatory a young star powered by twin turbocharged kW... Landmark alma telescope history thought to play in an essential role in the detection of phosphine a! Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter array ( ALMA ), Decarli et al occasion of its inauguration affect... Or 5,000 meters talk on the Chajnantor Plateau in … Posted by: Hiker June 30, 2015 et.!