The view from Mars

4 minutes

How scientists at the ALMA telescope in Chile decode the secrets of the cosmos

Chile’s Atacama Desert, home of the massive ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array) telescope, is the place on Earth most like Mars. Made up of 66 massive antennae atop a high plateau in the Atacama, ALMA ranks alongside the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor in France as one of humanity’s most massive, international scientific collaborations. The sophisticated telescope system uses radio frequencies to detect millimetre wavelengths instead of relying on visible light, looking back through billions of light years to uncover the make-up of massive dust clouds and galaxies. In time, scientists believe the project will revolutionise our understanding of the origins of our own solar system, stars, and galaxy.

Director: Jonathan de Villiers

Website: NOWNESS

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