Retirees > Galleries > ALMA Gallery > Potential MMA site in the Magdalena Mountains, 1992

Potential MMA site in the Magdalena Mountains, 1992

The inauguration of ALMA was preceded by many, many years of work, including exploration and evaluation of many sites and the evolution and eventual merging of array projects from different countries. Some of the earliest sites considered for the MMA were in New Mexico near the VLA. This photo from early 1992, was taken at the proposed center of the MMA site in the Magdalena Mountains, now the site of the Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer, looking north toward the South Baldy summit. Visiting observer Don Backer with NRAO staff members Joan Wrobel, Dave Wunker, and Phil Dooley, make one of the frequent visits to that site to check snow levels and tipper data. Craig Walker says Backer's skis and poles were borrowed: "Don's participation in one of our South Baldy trips is something we remember well. He was here on other business and had to borrow gear. Hence the blue jeans (rather inappropriate for a ski trip) and the satchel rather than a pack." Perhaps his upside pole is informally measuring snow depth? A crane at one of the NMIMT research sites is just visible over the crest. Thanks to Peter Napier for the original slide and to Peter, Gareth Hunt, Craig Walker, Joan Wrobel, and Frazer Owen for identifying the people and for information about the visit.
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