Feeds

US and UK unite for $100m telescope

Atacama, here we come

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Scientists in the UK and the US have joined forces to build a new $100m, 25 metre infrared telescope in the high Chilean desert. The latest addition to the team, the University of Colorado at Boulder, signed on late last week.

The Cornell Caltech Atacama Telescope, or CCAT, is designed to work alongside the proposed Atacama Large Millimeter Array, ALMA. This is also planned for construction in Chile. The idea is that CCAT will scan the skies for interesting things, and ALMA will be able to zoom in for a closer look.

The telescope should be completed by 2013, when researchers will turn its gaze towards the outer reaches of the solar system, to stellar nurseries, and even distant galaxies. When it is finished, it will be the largest and most precise ground-based infrared observatory in the world.

It will also be the highest - being located in the Atacama desert, some 18,000 feet above sea level. Water vapour is the enemy when dealing with the sub-millimetre section of the electro-magnetic spectrum in which the scope will set its sights. This makes Atacama the idea location for the 'scope, because as well as its altitude, it is extremely dry.

Associate Professor Jason Glenn from the University of Colorado commented: "This facility will enable us to study the earliest stages of star and galaxy formation, as well as the initial conditions of the solar systems like our own. [It] will be up to 30 times more sensitive than existing sub-millimeter telescopes, allowing us to look back in time to when galaxies first appeared."

Over half the cash needed for the project has already been secured from major backers, but now the research institutions, including CalTech, Cornell, and the UK's Astronomy Technology Centre are ramping up efforts to find another $50m. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.