Chilean telescope begins probing deep space


SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A huge and powerful new telescope has begun probing the universe from a high-altitude plateau in northern Chile.

The ALMA observatory uses radio technology to see wavelengths of light much longer than what’s visible to the human eye, and much colder than what shows up in infrared telescopes.

By linking an array of radio antennas to act as a single giant telescope, ALMA has begun to reveal some of the darkest and coldest bodies in space.

Its astronomers said Monday that the earliest dawn of the cosmos may soon be visible using this technology. So far, just the first 16 of a planned 66 antennas have been linked to a supercomputer and opened for business.