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Alma: World's most powerful radio telescope up close

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I’m on the high side of the Alma radio telescope. Now. It’s a high side because it’s 5000 meters... ...above sea level. The air is thin and dry... ...which makes a grateful astronomy... ...but not terribly good for people. As you can see, I’ve got a cylinder of oxygen... ...that’s giving me extra oxygen to make sure that... blood levels are measuring here on this special infrared radar... ... doesn’t fall too low because if it does I could become very ill. I’m also wearing this free stylish hat to protect me from the sun... ...because far more ultraviolet radiation pours on here. But the thin atmosphere is ideal for astronomy. At the moment they’ve got 20 of this antenna pointed skyward over the next two years... ...they plant at 46 more that would mean they would be able to see in incredible detail the formation of the very far stars looking at the time known as a cosmic dome. Now this is incredible versatile facility. Let me explain how it works. The idea, believe it or not, is this hulkling great antenna... ...can be moved any time the astronomers want. If for example, they want to alter the focus that because that’s exactly what they are doing... ...they move some of these antenna away a little bit far the pad. You can see here, this is a pad on which this antenna would rest. And if you look over there, there are seven more of them scattered across. There is a hundred and ninety two of them. It acts essentially by the focus of a camera. A few astronomers want to study something in incredible detail... ...then they move the antenna further apart And that produces a narrow focus so they can study in forensic detail some phenomenon they think is incredibly interesting. If further they want to carry out a wide research... ...they move their antenna very close together as behind here. That gives us a wide field of view to try to pick out very various things things might be understood. All in all, this is a next generation on astronomy... people in the next two years it’s a pretty remarkable pictures and some remarkable sights.

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 20 seconds
Country: Spain
Language: English
Views: 46
Posted by: quiquepinilla on Nov 30, 2011

Video from BBC (with subtitles)

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