NRAO welcomes Taiwan as a new 'North American' ALMA partner

December 19, 2008

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) has announced a formal agreement enabling Taiwanese astronomers to participate in the North American component of the international ALMA partnership, alongside American and Canadian astronomers. Taiwan's efforts will be led by the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA).

ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, is the most ambitious ground-based astronomical observatory in history. Currently under construction in Chile's Atacama Desert at an altitude of 16,500 feet, it promises to revolutionize our understanding of the formation of planets, stars, and galaxies when it begins full science operations early in the next decade.

The agreement, signed by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office and the American Institute in Taiwan, provides for approximately $20 million in ALMA construction funding through the National Science Council (NSC), Taiwan's equivalent to the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and Canada's National Research Council (NRC), which have jointly funded North America's existing contribution to the international ALMA project.

Activities under the agreement will include joint research projects, development projects, collaboration on construction, support of observatory operations and other forms of cooperation. Access to ALMA observing time will be shared, as will membership on advisory committees.

"Taiwan is a world-class center for submillimeter-wavelength astronomical research, and we're delighted that the ALMA project and all its future users will benefit from the resources and expertise that Taiwan's deepening participation brings to this great, global endeavor," said Dr. Fred Lo, NRAO's director.

This new agreement increases and diversifies Taiwan's Academia Sinica investment in ALMA beyond the levels achieved through its participation in the East Asian component of the ALMA partnership, which is led by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

The agreement mirrors previous ones affording Taiwan astronomers enhanced access to NRAO's US-based research facilities.

"ALMA will be one of the greatest ground-based observatories of the coming decade, and we look forward eagerly to working alongside our colleagues at the NRAO, and with the other ALMA partners, to make ALMA even more successful," said Dr. Paul Ho, ASIAA's director.
The ALMA Project is a partnership between the scientific communities of East Asia, Europe and North America with Chile.

ALMA is funded in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada and the National Science Council of Taiwan. ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which is operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Related Astrophysics Articles from Brightsurf:

Astrophysics: A direct view of star/disk interactions
'Nature' publication: The GRAVITY instrument developed for the Very Large Telescope in Chile probes deep into the TW Hydrae system to shape our view of accretion processes in young stars similar to the young Sun

Explosive nuclear astrophysics
An international team has made a key discovery related to 'presolar grains' found in some meteorites.

Using techniques from astrophysics, researchers can forecast drought up to ten weeks ahead
Researchers at the University of Sussex have developed a system which can accurately predict a period of drought in East Africa up to ten weeks ahead.

Astrophysics and AI may offer key to early dementia diagnosis
Crucial early diagnosis of dementia in general practice could improve thanks to a computer model designed in a collaboration between Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) and astrophysicists at the University of Sussex.

Hubble studies gamma-ray burst with highest energy ever seen
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has given astronomers a peek at the location of the most energetic outburst ever seen in the universe -- a blast of gamma-rays a trillion times more powerful than visible light.

NASA's TESS presents panorama of southern sky
The glow of the Milky Way -- our galaxy seen edgewise -- arcs across a sea of stars in a new mosaic of the southern sky produced from a year of observations by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

Giant exoplanet around tiny star challenges understanding of how planets form
An international team of researchers with participation from the University of Göttingen has discovered the first large gas giant orbiting a small star.

'Ringing' black hole validates Einstein's general relativity 10 years ahead of schedule
For the first time, astrophysicists have heard a black hole ringing like a bell.

A family of comets reopens the debate about the origin of Earth's water
Where did the Earth's water come from? Although comets, with their icy nuclei, seem like ideal candidates, analyses have so far shown that their water differs from that in our oceans.

Astronomers discover 2,000-year-old remnant of a nova
For the first time, a European research team involving the University of Göttingen has discovered the remains of a nova in a galactic globular cluster.

Read More: Astrophysics News and Astrophysics Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to