National Geographic April 2014, Part 2

Cosmic Dawn, by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, photographs by Dave Yoder

This article is about the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in the Atacama Desert of Chile. Scientists often need more specific details than they can get with one telescope. This need led to the development of telescope arrays, which are several (or even numerous) telescopes spread out over a distance. Somehow, the distance between the telescopes can allow more specificity in the images. Some smaller arrays were set up in the middle of the 1900s, but scientists needed a larger array, on a scale of miles. The location needs to be high and have low water vapor and after quite a bit of searching, they decided on the Atacama Desert of Chile.

The telescopes at Atacama are spread out over miles, but are also portable. There are two vehicles that are used to move them around, so that the focus can be adjusted, depending on what they are looking at.

Through ALMA, for example, the scientists have been able to see the dust around a young star, and watch the dust start to clump together in what may well end up being planets.

Legacy in Lace, photographs by Charles Fréger, text by Amada Fiegl

Legacy in Lace is a pictorial of young women of Brittany wearing traditional lace headwear, known as coiffes. Brittany is a small area, but each region of Brittany has a traditional style of women’s headwear, which indicates, and probably leads to, a particular pride of her home. As Malwenn Mariel, a young woman who is reviving this tradition puts it in the article, “I am Breton, and I am French, but I am Bigouden first.”

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