The cool side of the Universe: Science with the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Arr

Leonardo Testi | ESO Garching & ALMA
Seminar room 3, 15:00

The Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array is in operations in northern Chile as a partnership between Europe (ESO), North America (NRAO, USA and NRC, Canada) and East Asia (NAOJ, Japan, ASIAA, Taiwan, and KASI, South Korea). ALMA is the leading observatory to study the Universe at (sub)millimetre waves, and allows answering of science questions from observational cosmology to the formation of planetary systems and even fundamental physics. ALMA is composed by 66 high precision submillimetre telescopes spread over a high altitude (~5000m) altiplano, with separation of the telescopes of up to 16km. Each of the telescopes covers the wavelength range from 0.3 through 10 millimetres. A central electronics system distributes the timing signal and correlates and records the data from each telescope. The talk reviews the science capabilities and goals of ALMA, the current status, the challenges of building and operating a large and complex observatory in a remote location, the operations model and its reception by the astronomical community, the development of data products, the ALMA Science Archive and their use, the ALMA distributed user support model and its successes and the ALMA Development Plan for the future.