National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Profile of an Antenna Staring at the Universe

Night Scape Photograph・

Profile of an Antenna Staring at the Universe

This is an ALMA antenna observing with the beautiful sunset in the background. It is a 12-meter antenna made in Europe. Just above the antenna, you can see a slim crescent Moon. With a clear sky at an altitude of 5,000 meters, even the crescent Moon, which is not noticeable in cities, blazes with white light and surprises you.

Birthplace Recognized by Profile

In this picture, the antenna is in silhouette, but at a glance you can tell that the antenna was made in Europe. The distinguishing characteristic is the shape of the secondary mirror whose quadripod stretches up from the surface of the parabolic antenna. There are 3 varieties of 12-meter ALMA antennas which were made in Japan, North America, and Europe. However, the only quadripods that extend straight are the ones made in Europe. The other quadripods, which have curves, were made in Japan and North America. Please compare this picture with the previous photo taken during the daytime (Picture of the Week:“Three Musketeers” Exploring the Universe).

Text by: Masaaki Hiramatsu (NAOJ Chile Observatory)
Translation by: Hiroko Tsuzuki and Ramsey Lundock (Public Relations Center, NAOJ)

Image Data

DateSeptember 26, 2014
PhotographerAkira Kawamura
CreditNational Astronomical Observatory of Japan


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