Hundreds of years ago, the inhabitants of Easter Island erected giant statues, their backs against a vast ocean.
Today, one can fly nine hours due east and see an equally impressive array of eyes and ears looking up at an ocean of stars – the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, ALMA. Both are on Chilean territory.
The builders of the statues are lost to us. In the rush to admire the results from a great observatory, we easily lose sight of those who braved the paper-thin and bone-dry air at 17,000 feet to place these modern instruments. Brady Haran takes an important first step in that recognition.