ALMA’s OSF: an oasis in the desert

At the end of the long, winding road in this image is the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)’s Operational Support Facility (OSF).

The OSF serves as a base camp for contractors and staff working at ALMA and its facilities are the centre of all scientific activities related to ALMA’s daily operation.

Beyond the ALMA camp the white salt flat known as El Salar de Atacama is visible, the largest salt flat in Chile. Towards the horizon is the mountain known as Cerro Quimal, the highest mountain of the Cordillera de Domeyko, and nearby lies Pukará de Quitor (Fort of Quitor) — a pre-Columbian archaeological site.

This photograph was taken from 4660 metres above sea level by photographer José Velásquez during a Sunday trek from Cerro de Macón towards the Array Operations Site (AOS).

ALMA is the largest astronomical project in existence and is a truly global partnership between Europe, North America and East Asia, in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. Last year, ALMA was inaugurated at an official ceremony, which marked the completion of all the major systems of the array and the formal transition from a construction project to a fully-fledged observatory.



J. Velásquez/ESO

About the Image

Release date:13 April 2015, 10:00
Size:4538 x 3000 px

About the Object

Name:Atacama Desert, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array
Type:Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Facility

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