Lego Atacama Large Millimeter Array – Chile - Atlas Obscura
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Lego Atacama Large Millimeter Array

A surprisingly detailed model of the world's most powerful radio telescope.  


The Atacama Large Millimeter Array is the world’s most advanced radio telescope. Its 66 enormous dishes work together as one large eye on the sky.

While it’s possible to visit the ALMA control room and general facilities, only specially trained personnel are permitted to visit the plateau where the dishes are located, due to their high elevation. Fortunately, the Federico Santa María Technical University used Legos to give people an idea of how the equipment looks. 

This scale model of one of the ALMA dishes and the giant truck that moves them consists of a staggering 10,000 Lego pieces. The telescope is fully movable and can be pointed in the same way as the actual dishes. The model truck can even lift up and transport the model dish. 

Know Before You Go

The Lego ALMA is located at the ALMA visitor's center. You can see it during a tour of the facility. ALMA is open for tours once a week, but you have to book your tour months in advance. If you are feeling lucky, you can take a chance and just show up at the tour time and hope that some who booked didn't show up. The tour is free.

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