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.;


ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array) is an excellent astrophysical facility built and operated through worldwide collaboration in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, at 5,000 meters of altitude with dry and thin air, to observe the universe at (sub-)millimetre wavelengths. The main partners in the ALMA consortium are ESO (European Southern Observatory), the U.S. NRAO (National Radio Astronomical Observatory) or the Japanese NAOJ (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan). ALMA is the largest existing ground-based astronomical observatory. It comprises 66 high-precision antennas (radio telescopes) that can be configured to achieve baselines of up to 16 km. It is equipped with state-of-theart receivers covering all the atmospheric windows up to 1 THz. 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 angular resolution that exceeds that of the Hubble Space Telescope. ALMA has opened 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 observation projects, through quality assurance of the acquired data, their calibration and imaging, to assistance with data analysis. EU-ARC.CZ is the only node of the European network that has expertise in solar research with ALMA, but also in galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, stellar physics, 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, it leads European participation 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, institutional affiliation or professional background. EU-ARC.CZ is part of a network of seven nodes of the European ALMA Regional Centre (ARC), coordinated by ESO from Garching near Munich, Germany. Thereby, EU-ARC.CZ works closely with other nodes of the European ARC network, ESO and other partners in the ALMA consortium.