Friday, 16 August 2013

Chile Diary - Day 6

This will be my final entry from Chile (and I also note it's my 500th blog post).

Today we started early and visited the extraordinary ALMA Observatory.

A vicuna (?) on the road to ALMA
A massive cactus - but there were none at 5000m!

At an elevation of 5000m, its antenna are high on the Chajnator Plateau.

We even took oxygen as a precaution, but thankfully did not need it.

However the altitude was evident - thinking became muddled and physical exertion more difficult.

The array of antenna were an amazing sight, set in a natural amphitheatre of Andes mountains.

But perhaps the highlight of the day was meeting Denis Barkats.

Denis is a Sixty Symbols viewer who contacted me after hearing we were in Chile.

Not only is he a man with great taste in videos (!) he's also a commissioning scientist at ALMA, and knows the place back-to-front.

Denis and me

So Denis joined us for the trip to the plateau and became the star of the video.

He did a great job explaining the facility.

Stay tuned for a slew of great films from this trip, on both Sixty Symbols and Deep Sky Videos.

I'm now back in Santiago and looking forward to getting home (without looking forward to the long flight!)

A special thanks to Laura Ventura from the European Southern Observatory for being a great guide and host.

Chile Diary - Day Four
Chile Diary - Day Five
Chile Diary - Day Six

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