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Institutions Agree to Join Atacama Telescope Project

Photonics.com
May 2007
The University of Colorado at Boulder and the United Kingdom Astronomy Technology Centre have agreed to join the CCAT (Cornell Caltech Atacama Telescope) consortium, Cornell University announced yesterday. The two have committed to pursue formal partnership and to identify the sources for full funding of the project. The $100 million CCAT is a proposed 25-meter aperture telescope that will be the largest, most precise and highest astronomical facility in the world, Cornell said. To be built in the Cerro Chajnantor in the Atacama Desert region in Chile, the telescope will allow astronomers to peek into the early universe to explore the process of galaxy formation. Cornell and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) began collaborating on the project in 2004 and are each responsible of 25 percent of the cost. Planners hope to begin construction this year and to see first light in 2013.


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
telescope
An afocal optical device made up of lenses or mirrors, usually with a magnification greater than unity, that renders distant objects more distinct, by enlarging their images on the retina.
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