On March 13 2023, ALMA celebrated its 10th year anniversary since its inauguration! The event was accompanied by a number of events all around the world. In the Netherlands, Allegro celebrated with coffee & cake celebration at Leiden Observatory, while a “Tribute to Mother Earth” ceremony took place at the ALMA site followed by concerts and a light show marked the celebrations in Chile at the Joint ALMA Observatory. The inauguration, which took place on March 13th, 2013, saw many Dutch astronomers at the ALMA site, really demonstrating the high stake interest and participation of our community in this project!
Over these past 10 years the ALMA partnership has revolutionised our view and understanding of the Universe. We saw for the first time the regions in which planets, stars, and galaxies form; we saw the very first direct image of a supermassive black hole and have been deciphering chemistry everywhere in the cosmos. There have been more than 3,000 scientific publications using ALMA data, on topics covering the whole breadth of science, from star formation to galaxy evolution, the high redshift Universe, solar system objects, the Sun and supermassive black holes. “ALMA has transformed our understanding of the Universe and opened new research frontiers,” said Dr Sean Dougherty, Director of ALMA. “We are very proud of the accomplishments of the past decade and excited about the discoveries over the next ten years.”
ALMA’s success is due to its prime position in the dry Chilean Andes at 5,000 meters above sea level, its cutting-edge technology which is the fruit of an international collaboration of 21 countries from North America, Europe, and East Asia, and which include the Netherlands via NOVA and the development and construction of the Band 9 receivers, as well as via the Allegro node.
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, ALMA will also organize a scientific conference in Puerto Varas, Chile which will take place on 4-8 December 2023. Registration for the conference will open in early 2023 (likely in April): so please stay tuned, as we hope that many ALMA users from the Netherlands community will be joining us in Puerto Varas in December!