EU-ARC.CZ

Name: Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array – participation of the Czech Republic

Institution: Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Coordinator: RNDr. Pavel Jáchym, Ph.D.; jachym@ig.cas.cz

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ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array) is an excellent astrophysical facility built and operated through worldwide collaboration in the Chilean Atacama desert, at an altitude of 5,000 meters, to observe the universe at (sub-)millimeter wavelengths. The main partners in the consortium are ESO (European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere), NRAO (National Radio Astronomical Observatory) and NAOJ (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan). ALMA is the largest ground-based astronomical observatory in existence. It comprises 66 high-precision antennas (radio telescopes) that can be arranged in configurations with distances up to 16 km. ALMA operates as an interferometer, with its antennas interconnected and working together as if they were a single giant telescope. This results in unprecedented sensitivity and an angular resolution that exceeds that of the Hubble Space Telescope. ALMA opens up entirely new possibilities in the exploration of the universe, such as the imaging of proto-planetary disks, observations of the earliest stars and galaxies, providing direct views of the event horizon of black holes, and allowing for detailed studies of the Sun and the Solar System. EU-ARC.CZ provides support to ALMA users, in particular from the Czech Republic and Central Europe at all levels – from assistance with the preparation of observational projects (Phase I) and communication of technical details between the researchers and the observatory (Phase II), calibration and imaging of acquired data, to assistance with data analysis and the interpretation of results. EU-ARC.CZ is the only node of the European network that has expertise not only in solar research with ALMA, but also in galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, stellar physics and the physics of interstellar matter, and microwave laboratory spectroscopy. EU-ARC.CZ contributes to the further development of ALMA’s capabilities – with its unique capability in Europe, it is participating in the development of the special solar observing mode and related software for processing specific solar data. Access to ALMA observations and to the services provided by EU-ARC.CZ is fully open to the scientific community, regardless of nationality, affiliation or professional background. EU-ARC.CZ is part of a network of 7 nodes of the European ALMA Regional Center (ARC – ALMA Regional Centre), coordinated by ESO from Garching near Munich. Thus, EU-ARC.CZ works closely with other nodes of the European ARC network, the ESO and other partners in the ALMA consortium.

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