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European antenna for Atacama telescope array installed

The first European antenna for the Atacama telescope array in Chile was installed at 5,000 metres above sea level on 27 July.

The antenna was shipped to Chile as part of the International Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA), in which the European Southern Observatory, Europe’s leading intergovernmental astronomy organisation, is a partner.

The Europe antenna is 12 metres in diameter and is the 16th and last antenna of the array to be built.

ALMA is now ready to start observations. The European Southern Observatory in Chile has announced that it has received over 1,000 applications for scientific studies at the facility. The first stage of observations, dubbed “Early Science”, is to start later this year.