PHOTOS: Getting Ready for the World’s Largest Radio Telescope
In Chile’s Atacama Desert, astronomers are preparing for a new array that will stretch across 10 miles
- By Leah Binkovitz
- Smithsonian magazine, January 2013
(ALMA (ESO / NAOJ / NRAO))
They also probed the origins of life when they detected, for the first time, molecules of glycolaldehyde, a simple sugar and essential biochemical building block, in gases surrounding a Sun-like star 400 light-years away. And they discovered a mysterious spiral structure around a red star 1,500 light-years away—the first indication of an unknown companion star orbiting nearby.