eyes of the atacama

programme information


1 x 60'

Production Company

Terra Mater Factual Studios





Episode Information

Atacama desert, Chile, altitude 5,300 metres, perhaps the driest desert in the world. With humidity almost non-existent, inhospitable in the extreme – this is the perfect location from which to observe the birth of the universe. ALMA – the Atacama Large Millimeter Array – is the ultimate space observation facility. Here, 66 leviathan parabolic antennae trap cosmic rays in the previously unobservable long-wave range. It can only happen in Atacama, far away from civilisation’s pollution of the night sky with artificial light. We go inside the Eyes of the Atacama, using elaborate animated sequences, to create a vision of the unimaginable. The mass of data collected here will bring us closer to understanding the creation of life, the origin of the universe and the nature of infinity. Through 'Eyes of the Atacama' we witness the quest to solve some of astronomy’s greatest enigmas. In large-scale images combined with an eye for detail, we bring to life the adventure of space research. And we focus on the exceptional beauty of the Atacama Desert that scientists look out on everyday. Where animals and plants are part of an equally rarified environment. We have built these eyes so we can witness the birth of stars, to learn more about life on earth.

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