ALMA, the world’s largest astronomical project, paralyzes its activity due to cyberattack

Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Observatory, world’s largest astronomical project Located in the middle of the Chilean desert, it suffered a cyber attack that forced it to suspend its activities, the unit reported on Wednesday.

Located in the Antofagasta region, about 1,700 kilometers north of Santiago, in some of the most pristine skies on the planet, ALMA explained that cyber attack happened last weekend in their system and that The threat has already been controlled,

“The threat has been contained and our Experts are working hard to restore the affected systems“, the institution said in a statement.

In return, the observatory assured that “The attack did not compromise the ALMA antennas or any scientific data”But “given the nature of the episodes”, it is not possible to estimate “a time frame for a return to regular activities”.

Two of the 12-meter antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).
Outfall Bonina/ESO

Earth’s biggest window to the universe

ALMA is an international association between Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile., whose observations have recently made it possible to capture, for example, a “stellar intruder” – a rare stellar approach located at an estimated distance of 3,000 light-years from our Solar System. It also provides information about the birth of Stars,

It has 66 radio telescopes in the Atacama Desert.North of Chile, which observe electromagnetic radiation at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. The complex was built on the Chajnantor plateau, at an altitude of 5,000 meters, The location was chosen for its high altitude and low humidity, factors that are important for reducing noise and signal attenuation due to Earth’s atmosphere.

With an estimated cost of $1,400 million, is the most expensive ground-based telescope in operation. Scientific observations began in the second half of 2011 and the first images were released in October of the same year, although it was not until 2013 that the set was fully operational.

ChileWhich has the clearest skies to observe the universe from the Atacama desert, has become the capital of the world in recent years astronomy, It is expected that in the medium term the South American countries, which till date 40% of the world’s space observation facilitiesFocusing at 70% of astronomical optical capacity, adding other state-of-the-art telescopes to house observatories like ALMA.

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