Astronomers will soon be able to look billions of years into the past, gazing at the formation of distant stars and galaxies. “In doing so, de Villiers reveals, "they’ll build a clearer picture of how our sun and our galaxy formed.” Celebrating the launch of a Galactic Telescope in Chile, the film takes an expressive look at ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array), a vast international telescope project that was inaugurated in Chile this March 2013, after decades in the making. YouTube link
Watch "The View From Mars: Part 2" (4 minutes) by Jonathan de Villiers
Documenting the astronomical breakthroughs of the Atacama Desert, he takes us 500 kilometers southeast of the ALMA project to the Very Large Telescopes (VLTs) of Paranal. Operated by the European Southern Observatory and using visible light as well as infra-red technology, this site has been in operation for over a decade but remains the most productive research factory on Earth, with an average of one scientific paper being published based on information acquired there every day. Among the countless recent and landmark advances to have been made on the premises is the remarkable documentation of an ‘exoplanet’—the first incredible images we have of a planet outside our own solar system.
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Image released Dec. 31, 2012. by Space.com