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Chile: Home of the world's largest telescope

The world's largest telescope, aka the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), is open for business.
Alma worlds largest telescopeEnlarge
Radio telescope antennas of the ALMA ( Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) project are seen in the Chajnantor plateau, Atacama desert, some 1500 km north of Santiago, on March 12,2013. The ALMA, an international partnership project between Europe, North America and East Asia, with the cooperation of Chile, is presently the largest astronomical project in the world. On March 13, 66 high precision antennas will be opened, located at an altitude of 5000 meters above sea level in the extremely arid Atacama desert. (Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images)

The world's largest telescope — formally known as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or ALMA — officially opened for business Wednesday in Chile. 

The "telescope" is actually a grouping of 66 state-of-the-art radio telescopes in Chile's Atacama desert at 16,400 feet. They will be able to retrieve information about the very first stars created in our universe – around 12 billion years away, in time — shedding light on the history of the cosmos, according to the Science World Report

"What is so very special about this place is that, right here above our heads, there is virtually no water vapor. There is just so little that whatever light is emitted from a heavenly body, galaxy or star, it gets here with no interference," ALMA astronomer Gianni Marconi explained to Science World Report.

 The telescopes act like "a huge eye," receiving electromagnetic radiation at wavelengths in the submillimeter range, according to Science World. 

"This is similar to the move from the naked eye to the first telescope," Wolfgang Wild, project leader at ALMA's European project office, told the Business Recorder

“In fact, it’s more powerful than all of the other radio telescopes in the world put together,” Andreas Lundgren, a Swedish astronomer at the site, told reporters, according to FOX news

The collaboration between the United States, Canada, the European Union, Japan and Taiwan and Chile has been in the works since 2005, and cost $1.5 billion dollars, UPI reported

But hey, it's all worth it, right guys? 

More from GlobalPost: The amazing limit of the Hubble Space Telescope

Babu Ranganathan More than 1 year ago
SCIENCE SHOWS THE UNIVERSE CANNOT BE ETERNAL because it could not have sustained itself eternally due to the law of entropy (increasing energy decay, even in an open system). Einstein confirmed that space, matter, and time all had a beginning. Even time had a beginning! Time is not eternal. Popular evolutionary scientist Stephen Hawking admits that the universe came from nothing but he believes that nothing became something by a natural process yet to be discovered. That's not rational thinking at all, and it also would be making the effect greater than its cause to say that nothing created something. The beginning had to be of supernatural origin because natural laws and processes do not have the ability to bring something into existence from nothing. The supernatural cannot be proved by science but science points to a supernatural intelligence for the origin and order of the universe. Where did God come from? God, being infinite, didn't need a beginning or cause, and God is not under the law of entropy. Read my Internet article: HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM Visit my newest Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION Babu G. Ranganathan* (B.A. Bible/Biology) Author of popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS *I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I've been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who in The East" for my writings on religion and science.