Solar Science with the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array — A New View of Our Sun by S. Wedemeyer14 Mar 2017, 12:05 UTC
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), which consists of 66 antennas placed on the Chajnantor plateau in the Chilean Andes, has already produced impressive results for a large range of astronomical objects. Regular observations of the Sun have been carried out for the first time in December 2016 and exciting results can be expected soon. ALMA combines high spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution with the diagnostic advantages of radiation at millimeter wavelengths, which makes the array a powerful tool for addressing a broad range of fundamental scientific questions in solar physics (Bastian 2002; Karlický et al. 2011; Benz et al. 2012). A short technical description of ALMA and an overview of potential solar science cases are presented in a review composed by the SSALMONetwork (Solar Simulations for the Atacama Large Millimeter Observatory Network, Wedemeyer et al. 2016a) and in papers referenced therein.
Figure 1. ALMA antennas on the Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), O. Dessibourg
In the current observing cycle, ALMA observes the Sun in Band 3 and Band 6 at wavelengths around 3.0 mm and 1.3 mm, respectively (see also Wedemeyer et al. 2016b). In future cycles, up to ten receiver bands will eventually cover ...