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Salta lights his “flame” into space

The LLAMA project is located in Salta and will be one of the most important portals in our region to observe the universe.


Puna salteña, 4820 meters. Wind, mountain, rock, silence that seems eternity, and a watchtower of Brazilians and Argentines that will look to the Universe. This is LLAMA, acronym for Large Latin American Millimeter Array. The project, launched in 2014, will be the instrument of highest spatial resolution on the planet. It will operate fully in combination with ALMA, another astronomical complex in Chile. “At the moment, the various components of the radio telescope are already in Salta and it is expected that by the end of the year it will be armed,” says Gloria Dubner. She is a member of the LLAMA steering committee, and director of the Institute of Astronomy and Space Physics (IAFE).

You will see solar flare, active galaxy nuclei, molecular clouds, extragalactic cold dust radiation, and extrasolar planets. Here are some of the study objects that LLAMA will have when you begin your observations individually. Before interconnecting with ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array), located at the same height, across the Andes.

LLAMA is a 12-meter diameter radio telescope for millimeter and submillimeter waves. They are very high radio frequencies, and that serves to explore molecules in space, where there are many that have emission lines in those bands. You can investigate the birth and death of stars. Not only will it be possible to do deep cosmological research, but it will allow us to study the black hole environment in the center of our galaxy. You're going to have high-resolution images. Thus explained Dubner about the project, led by the Platense astronomer Cristina Cappa.

Costs and relocation

Just over eight million dollars cost Brazil the antenna, built by the German company Vertex. Months ago she came unarmed in about twenty lumps to Zarate. Some of them of dimensions that exceeded the width of the route. This made it difficult to move vehicles in their road north and forced to take no few steps to circumvent certain steps. In total, about 12 days took the journey to the long convoy of trucks. One of They had a mishap coming to Susques. The affected part must be reviewed by an engineer from Italy. All parts are protected by a Sure. In the worst case, whether the total destruction of the damaged part, will be manufactured again.

Jump to the future

The team is completely in Salta, while the foundation where LLAMA will be laid is being tendered. It will be located, to spy on the cosmos, in the locality of Alto Chorrillos. So far, a 6 kilometre long road with wide curves has been built to get there without problems, after joining the section to National Route 51 that goes to San Antonio de los Cobres. This is the nearest village and where the main building will be built with the offices, laboratories, dormitories and general facilities of the complex. During the day work will be done in Alto Chorrillos, but there no one can spend the night because of a health care issue. The base camp will be located in the nearest village, 22 kilometres away and at 3800 metres high.

One of the features that makes the Puna an exceptional stage to observe the Cosmos is its air. Extremely dry, for its high altitude. This prevents water vapor from the atmosphere that degrades the sensitivity of telescopes. These advantageous technical conditions offered to be located beyond the

Publication Date: 01/01/2020

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