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ALMA Adventure

ALMA Inauguration Banner

Air Date: 03/18/2013
Run Time: 28:50

Listen to the full show:

Or Download mp3


  • Ewine van Dishoeck, Radio Astronomer, University of Leiden & Former ALMA Board Member
  • Al Wooten, North American Project Scientist and head of the North American ALMA Science Center, National Radio Astronomy Observatory
  • Alison Peck, Former ALMA Commissioning Scientists Team Leader, National Radio Astronomy Observatory
  • Gianni Marconi, Commissioning Scientist, ALMA

Topics: podcasts and videos, interview, Bill Nye, Planetary Radio, extrasolar planets, stars and galaxies, radio telescopes, astronomy, spectroscopy

Support Planetary Radio

The first of two episodes about our journey to Chile’s Atacama Desert, home to the ALMA Observatory, the radio telescope that is humanity’s most ambitious astronomy project.  Join Mat Kaplan among the giant dishes at 16,500 feet above sea level. Bill Nye talked with a congressman about saving planetary science, and Bruce Betts has the latest on comet Pan-STARRS.  You may win Bill Nye’s voice on your answering system!

Related Links

Mat Kaplan at the ALMA High Site
Mat Kaplan at the ALMA High Site

Trivia Contest

This week's prize is Bill Nye the Science Guy's voice on your answering system!

This week's question:
What surface feature on Venus is taken as defining the prime meridian? (Longitude 0 degrees)

To submit your answer:
Complete the contest entry form at no later than Monday, March 25, at 2pm Pacific Time.

Last week's question:
What is the highest permanent astronomical observatory, and how high is it?

The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:
In what country and state or province was the beryllium mined for the James Webb Space Telescope mirror segments?

In the US state of Utah


No trivia contest spoilers please!

Chris Campbell: 03/19/2013 09:11 CDT

I realize that it may be the (new?) official name of the project, but "Millimeter/sub-millimeter" makes the name a bit confusing. If you're going to use it though, I guess it'll help to stick with their exact syntax, "Millimeter/sub-millimeter" with the slash and NO spaces. You have it typo'd in a few places (e.g. in the linked expert profile pages) and I had to stare at it for a while before I figured out what the new name meant. "Large millimeter sub millimeter", say what now? :) Looking forward to more Atacama Diary entries! When you're done, be sure to put together a post that collects them all together.

Mat Kaplan: 03/28/2013 09:44 CDT

Thanks for the comment, Chris. Yeah, you're right. I was sloppy here and there, but it IS a confusing title. I stupidly thought the reference was to "large millimeter" till I realized they were talking about a large array, which it certainly is! I'm glad you enjoyed those few Atacama Diary posts. I felt terrible about not continuing them, but I didn't figure on the inconsistent net access we'd have in San Pedro de Atacama, or how incredibly busy our NRAO hosts would keep us! That's not a complaint. I hope you enjoy the two Planetary Radio episodes I devoted to the trip, now complemented by the nearly complete interviews with several of my guests posted here: .

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