The equipment has now reached Argentina which will be assembled into the ambitious Large Latin American Millimeter Array.
Initial ideas for the telescope were set out by Argentinian radio astronomers in 2007 at a regional meeting in Venezuela. It went on to secure funding from both the Argentinian and Brazilian governments and plans were formally ratified in 2014. The acronym Llama makes reference to the Spanish word for “flame” as well as the Latin American camelid.
The telescope is a parabolic antenna 12 meters in diameter. It will be located in the Alto Chorrillos valley, in Salta, Argentina, close to 5,000 meters above sea level, and will be used to study the evolution of the universe, black holes, the formation of galaxies and stars. It will be equipped with receivers to enable it to detect very faint sources and filters to observe the sun. Once it is operational, it can be used on a stand-alone basis or as part of a network of similar instruments to carry out Very Large Base Line Interferometry.
One of the researchers involved predicted that it will put Argentina “in the forefront of radio-astronomical research worldwide”.