Wednesday, 13 March 2013 14:51
World’s largest submillimeter telescope inaugurated.
In the midst of the Atacama desert, the astronomy community inaugurated Wednesday one of its most powerful instruments yet. With the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), scientists hope to find out more about the forming of stars, planets and the chemical and physical processes that are involved.
“From now on we will only need a couple of minutes for research that took us weeks so far,” said Juan Cortés, operation astronomer at ALMA.
Just in time for the inauguration, the scientists of the observatory could show a first impressing glance at the potential of ALMA through an article published in the research journal “Nature.”
Using only 16 of the projected 66 antennas, a group of scientists led by Joaquin Vieira found strong evidence supporting the theory that starburst galaxies were already formed 12.6 billion years ago – one billion years earlier than previously thought. This new discovery would mean these galaxies already existed during the childhood of our universe.
The astronomers were able to make these conclusions by discovering major redshifts in 10 starburst galaxies. Redshifts indicate how long light has been travelling through space and also how long a galaxy exists.Login to read more.