Online Exchange Event to Learn Latest Astronomy with ALMA

On December 6, 2020, an online exchange event titled “Learning the Latest Astronomy with ALMA” was held by Mitaka City, Tokyo.

Mitaka City has been selected as a pre-games training camping site for Chilean table tennis and archery players for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. The reason for the selection is that the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), whose headquarters is located in Mitaka City, has been operating ALMA in Chile in cooperation with North America and Europe. Since Mitaka City is designated as a host town and “inclusive society host town” for Chile, the city plans to continue exchanges with Chile even after the Tokyo 2020 Games.

In this exchange event, three astronomers at NAOJ participated as guest speakers: a Chilean astronomer Andres Guzman, professor Seiichi Sakamoto, and assistant professor Masaaki Hiramatsu. In the lecture part, Hiramatsu first presented an overview of ALMA and radio astronomy, and then Sakamoto, who joined remotely from Chile, talked about the excellence of Chile in astronomical observation and NAOJ’s research activities in Chile. After that, Guzman explained his research about the birth of stars and introduced some research results using ALMA. The lectures were delivered along with Japanese-English translation and simultaneous sign language interpretation. It was a meaningful step toward realizing an inclusive society.

This exchange event was signed up for by more people than initially expected, which indicates a high level of public interest in astronomy. After the lecture, there was a question-and-answer session of about 20 minutes. Three speakers answered a wide variety of questions, such as “How often will a planet like the Earth be born?” “How is an antenna transported?” and “How can I learn more about the universe?”

The NAOJ ALMA Project will continue to promote exchange events that connect Chile and Japan.



Credit: NAOJ