The Eyes of the Atacama

A film by Annette and Klaus Scheurich
Documentary (52 min), Terra Mater Factual Studios, 2012

The Atacama desert is currently the site of a massive construction project – ALMA. The ALMA However, the cosmic millimetre waves measured by the observatory are absorbed as they enter the earth’s atmosphere – which is why ALMA is located on the high Atacama plateau. The altitude and extremely low humidity of this driest of all deserts on the planet allow these cosmic rays to penetrate to the observatory’s measurement equipment.
But conditions at 5000 metres altitude are extreme, and the construction project is a gigantic challenge for engineers and scientists alike. ALMA is designed to solve the puzzles that go way beyond earthly issues. With the “Eyes of the Atacama”, as ALMA is termed by scientists, due to the research station’ huge parabolic mirrors, they hope to establish new milestones in astronomy. By means of large images and an eye to detail, we bring to life the sheer adventure of space research in one of the remotest parts of the globe.

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