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ics Colloquium
Friday, October 29, 1999
4:00 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Note special time.
Alwyn Wootten [Host: Bascom Deaver]
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
"The Atacama Large Millimeter Array: Imaging Cosmic Dawns"
The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), a project of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the European Southern Observatory, will be built over the coming decade in Northern Chile. ALMA will be a revolutionary telescope, operating at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths and comprised of an array of individual antennas each 12 meters in diameter that work together to make precision images of astronomical objects. The goal of the ALMA Project is an array of 64 antennas that can be positioned as needed over an area 10 kilometers in diameter so as to give the array a zoom-lens capability. ALMA will image the universe with unprecedented sensitivity and sharpness at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. The energy density of radiation from both the Milky Way and from the diffuse extragalactic background peaks in the submillimeter. Aside from Cosmic Microwave Background photons, submillimeter photons are the most abundant photons in the Universe. Detailed imaging at these wavelengths will be a major step for astronomy, making it possible to study the origins of galaxies, stars and planets.

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