ARC - ALMA REGIONAL CENTER

The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) is an interferometer consisting of 66 parabolic antennas: 54 of 12-m diameter, and 12 of 7-m diameter. It is located on the Chilean altoplano of Chajnantor at 5000 metres altitude, one of the driest places on Earth. ALMA operates at wavelengths between 0.1 mm and 10 cm. The antennas can be arranged in various configurations, with maximum distances between antennas of 16 km, allowing resolutions of down to 5 milli- arcsec -- enough to see details the size of a Euro coin at a distance of 1000 km. The large number of antennas, their efficiency and the aridity of the desert makes it possible for ALMA to observe fainter and more distant objects than any other telescope of this type.

The ALMA project is a partnership between Europe, North America (USA and Canada) and East Asia (Japan and Taiwan), in cooperation with Chile, as the provider of the site of the telescope. Three so-called ALMA Regional Centres, (ARCs), one for each partner, form the interface between ALMA and the scientific community.
The European ARC consists of a network of 7 regional nodes at various locations in Europe, and coordinated by a central node located at ESO (European Southern Observatory) in Garching near Munich. The Italian node of the network is hosted by the Istituto di Radioastronomia in Bologna. Among its tasks are providing support for scientific projects; contribute to education and training in the field of millimeter wavelength astronomy through seminars, workshops and courses in collaboration with the Observatories and University Departments; collaborating on software and hardware development.

For more detailed and additional information on the ALMA project and the Italian node of the European ALMA Regional Centre, please visit:

http://almascience.eso.org
http://www.alma.inaf.it