An international team of astronomers and engineers at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have made the first measurements using new receivers installed on multiple ALMA antennas. This so-called “Band 2” opens a new window into cosmic origins, allowing measurements that reveal how distant stars and galaxies form, all the way down to the origins of planets and the building blocks of life. Read more.
Image: © S. Otarola – ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); shows the cryostat of an ALMA antenna populated with 10 receivers for the first time. The receivers pick up the signals from outer space at specific frequency bands, covering a window from 950 to 35 GHz, and are stored in a cryostat that cools them down to temperatures as low as -269°C. The installation of the “Band 2” receivers, initiated in 2023, means ALMA antennas can observe within the final frequency range (67 to 116 GHs) for which the array was designed.