A delegation of members from the United States House of Representatives visited the ALMA Observatory on April 4th. This visit was organized by the US Embassy in Chile, Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) — the North American partner in the observatory — and ALMA.
There were a total of 13 representatives from the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, accompanied by family members, staff and embassy personnel. This committee oversees the National Science Foundation´s (NSF) budget, which in turn funds North American ALMA operations.
On behalf of the NSF, AUI and ALMA, the following persons hosted the delegation in Chile: Dr. Phil Puxley, NSF program manager; Adam Cohen, AUI president; Dr. Sean Dougherty, ALMA director; and Paulina Bocaz, AUI/NRAO representative in Chile.
The delegation visited ALMA to understand and see first hand the most sought-after astronomical observatory in history. “With more than 6,000 registered users and 1,600 proposals annually, ALMA´s images and spectra of the cool and distant Universe are continuously breaking new scientific ground,” stated Phil Puxley.
The delegation toured the array operations site at 5,000 meters (16,500 feet) above sea level, where the antennas are located. Once back at the base camp (2,900 meters/9,500 feet), they visited the laboratories, offices and living quarters and heard presentations from the ALMA deputy director, Dr. Stuartt Corder and the observatory scientist, John Carpenter.
Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) is a U.S. non-profit corporation, which operates the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the Green Bank Observatory (GBO) and the Long Baseline Observatory (LBO) under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation (NSF). NRAO facilities include the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico and the North American portion of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. For further information please visit: www.aui.cl
EPO Officer AUI/NRAO in Chile