Large Southern Array

The Large Southern Array (LSA) is a giant instrument, currently in the planning stage, designed for observing the Universe at millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelengths (very short radio waves). It is likely to involve a collaboration between the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), have a total collecting area of 7,000 m2 made up from 64 linked 12-m antennas, and be located at an altitude of 5,000 m in northern Chile at a site known as Chajnantor. Among the LSA's numerous uses will be the observation of star-forming regions, protostars, and protoplanetary disks. The LSA will also play an important role in the search for exoplanets through accurate astrometry, and possibly even the direction detection of planets and their atmospheres. Current estimates suggest that construction will start some time between 2003 and 2008.