March 18, 2014

Eyes on the Heavens

Photograph by Dave Yoder, National Geographic

Light from the setting sun dances on antennas forming part of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), high in Chile’s Atacama Desert. The world's largest and costliest ground-based telescope, ALMA was officially inaugurated in 2013 and has already delivered on expectations, allowing researchers to peer at 26 distant galaxies showing bursts of star formation.

See more pictures from the April 2014 feature story "Cosmic Dawn."


Photographer Dave Yoder tells the story of photographing at ALMA Array »

36 comments
QIYUN LU
QIYUN LU

love the picture love the article.

Valentina Alarcón Rendich
Valentina Alarcón Rendich

One time I asked to my school physics teacher "why physics?", he answered "because it brings me closer to God". He was referring to this.

john brown
john brown

Just read the article. it is mind blowing: one what the human mind can do and two, the amazing universe we live in. We just do not know much at all yet,  but the concept of knowing is what makes me happy and realise the potential of all peoples whatever their back ground. Being human can be special







Mairi Jones
Mairi Jones

This exquisite photo has a rather surreal feel to it, mostly due to the way the light plays off the antennae.  I have to say I do not understand the references to searching for "aliens" (indicated in several comments below).  My impression was that the astronomers now have a greater opportunity to make amazing cosmic discoveries.


Thank you for sharing such a fantastic image.

Joe Kilanowski
Joe Kilanowski

If looking for extraterrestrials creates opportunities for images like this one, then I say, "let's keep looking, and keep building more telescopes".

Very nice image ...great work!!!!

Alan Webb
Alan Webb

I think we're looking for extraterrestrial intelligence in vain. Too many years waiting for an answer to come from outer space.

Hansraj Shah
Hansraj Shah

Nice catch of 21 century Eyes...................Great click...Thanks.

Madhumita Pal
Madhumita Pal

love the pic .... 

looks like a party going on in an alien planet with the aliens shaped like antennaes !!! :D

Kaylee Duff
Kaylee Duff

How did you get here. I want to be places like this. Thank you for taking such a good picture!

Sandy Wilt
Sandy Wilt

Bueatiful I could look at it for a long time and find something new to catch my attention. Congradulations on a great photo


Joy Saldanha
Joy Saldanha

The very old, and the very new. For me the moon is eye catching at first look. Then there is the sky, and the hills beyond., that covers the 'old'. The 'new' is what science is doing here and now, in this picture at the desert in Chile. A good shot, well taken.  j.e.s.....

claudia arrua
claudia arrua

Wow! It feels we are "outer space". Great picture.

Sharon Smith
Sharon Smith

Dave, what a great photo!  I love astronomy and this creative photo has captured the "essence" of our search for the Unknown.  All "trained on the sky".  Love it!

Janice H.
Janice H.

Spectacular and "otherworldly"!     On alert for answers.     Great shot.     

leonard berean
leonard berean

great story saw this on channel fox network last night

Leigh Ann Arbogast
Leigh Ann Arbogast

they are very poorly made robotic sharks chasing a robotic fish.

Sandra Hickman
Sandra Hickman

I think - its a beautiful photograph especially with the moon in the dark sky and the mountains. By themselves they would make a gorgeous photo - including the telecopes -  makes this doubly  interesting and informative.  Thanks for sharing.

Scott Gordon
Scott Gordon

26 galaxies and we're trying for Mars in 2030.

Bories Jung
Bories Jung

Large ears for a wavelength in a mm range and below. And many ears to compute  the resulting pictures from interferometry. That looks simple but must be a complex procedure and there is a brain to do this. I would like to be at the joystic to place those ears in that desert.. 

Ilya Lychkou
Ilya Lychkou

Great! Let's live in harmony both with Nature and Hi-tech!

Lawrence Sibley
Lawrence Sibley

An image for those who love science fiction!  I like the way the sky, mountains and plateau are all so dark, in contrast to the parabolic disk antennas, and that the antennas are gazing in different directions, like a group of amateur astronomers on an field trip.

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