Over 11s

World’s most powerful telescope reveals hidden secrets of the universe

World’s most powerful telescope reveals hidden secrets of the universe

ALMA opens its eyes

ALMA, the world's most powerful telescope, has revealed its first image. The image from Atacama Large Millimetre/Sub-millimetre Array (ALMA), shows two galaxies colliding. This amazing image has never been seen by other telescopes. Only a third of ALMA's radio antennae have been constructed so far, but it's still the world's most powerful telescope!

Based in Chile, 5,000 metres above sea level, ALMA will let us see further into the coldest, darkest regions of our universe. What will it discover? We'll find out soon...

To find out more about telescopes, go to Make an upside down telescope and Happy 1,000,000th Image, Hubble!

Curriculum information

  • Summary

    How do you make a very, very large telescope? The European Southern Observatory (ESO) solved this problem by joining together lots of smaller telescopes in the Atacama Large Millimetre/Sub-millimetre Array (ALMA). The array detects in the microwave band between 0.3 and 9.6mm wavelength. These radio telescopes are starting to provide a startling insight into the Universe and it is still growing in size.

    Curriculum key wordsOther web links
    • Stars, galaxies and the universe
    • Astronomy
    • Big Bang theory
    • How science works
    European Southern Observatory (ESO) video explaining the ALMA project
    ESO information about ALMA
    Big bang and the expanding universe
    Infra-red astronomy explained
    Science Curriculum Links
    National CurriculumCurriculum for excellenceNorthern Ireland Curriculum
    Earth and universe (KS3 Sc 3.4) Universe continues to change (Ks4 Sc2.4c) How scientific data can be collected (HSW 1.1a)Space exploration and knowledge of the universe (SCN 4-06a)Earth and universe (KS3 and KS4)