Multiwavelength composite of interacting galaxies NGC 4038/4039, the Antennae, showing VLA radio (blues), past and recent starbirths in HST and CTIO optical (whites and pinks), and a selection of current star-forming regions in ALMA's mm/submm (orange and yellows) showing detail surpassing all other views in these wavelengths. Photo: NRAO/AUI/NSF; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); HST (NASA, ESA, and B. Whitmore (STScI)); J. Hibbard, (NRAO/AUI/NSF); NOAO/AURA/NSF
In a moment long-awaited by thousands of astronomers from around the globe, a cluster of precision radio telescopes located on the barren Chajnantor Plateau of northern Chile has finally gone operational. Although only partially complete, ALMA, or the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, is already considered the most advanced telescope of its type. Certainly, it's the highest, with a literally breath-taking base elevation of 16,500 feet (5000m).