Astronomy

Japan's work on ALMA telescope

Your report on the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the world's highest-altitude radio telescope, omits mention of Japan's contribution (Nature 495, 156–159; 2013).

The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) is one of three executive partners of ALMA and is in charge of implementing East Asia's contribution to the array.

Japan did not simply “join the partnership in 2004” (see D. Normile & D. Clery Science 333, 1820–1823; 2011). As long ago as 1983, Japan put forward plans for the Large Millimeter Array (LMA), almost at the same time as the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory proposed the Millimeter Array. Japan was the first to suggest expansion of the observation wavelength to the submillimetre range in 1987, renaming the LMA as the Large Millimeter and Submillimeter Array (LMSA). It was also the first country to start site surveys for millimetre/submillimetre-wavelength interferometers around the current ALMA site in northern Chile in 1992.

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Correspondence to Masahiko Hayashi.

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Hayashi, M., Iguchi, S. Japan's work on ALMA telescope. Nature 497, 317 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/497317e

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