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When Vincent van Gogh painted The Starry Night in 1889, he brilliantly captured a single moment in time. But with the 13 March inauguration of the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array, or ALMA, scientists and engineers now have the ability to see back to the beginning of time itself. ALMA’s 50 (out of an eventual 66) high-precision antennas can yield images 10 times as sharp as those resolved by the Hubble Space Telescope.
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Willie Jones is an associate editor at IEEE Spectrum. In addition to editing and planning daily coverage, he manages several of Spectrum's newsletters and contributes regularly to the monthly Big Picture section that appears in the print edition.