Cerro Chajnantor Atacama Telescope

- 22.985916666667 - 67.740277777778Koordinaten: 22 ° 59 '9 " S, 67 ° 44' 25 " W The Cerro Chajnantor Atacama Telescope ( CCAT ) is a toy in the development of telescope that in using superconducting cameras planets, stars and galaxies terahertz to investigate wavelength range. As the site of located in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile Cerro Chajnantor is selected. The construction is scheduled to begin in 2013. first light is planned for 2017. With a diameter of 25 meters, it would be at that time the largest telescope in the world. At an altitude of 5612 meters above sea level it would even the highest positioned telescope in the world


The full functionality of the CCAT depends on the right weather conditions. As the terahertz radiation to be examined is absorbed by humidity, the location of the telescope must be as dry as possible. For this reason, over 5,600 meters high plateau of the Cerro Chajnantor was elected to the Chilean Atacama Desert. Here the rainfall is during the winter only about 0.7 millimeters, the amount of water vapor present in the atmosphere is also out very low. About 400 meters below the CCAT is the Atacama Large Millimeter Array ( ALMA).

Technical details

The CCAT is to investigate ( called 0.03 to 3 mm wavelength, and submillimeter waves ) with unprecedented precision distant stars and galaxies in the far-infrared waveband. The proposed mirror diameter of the telescope is 25 meters. This can be collected at very large amounts of light, resulting in more accurate measurements and high spatial resolution. The field of CCAT is to cover an area of ​​20 arcmin. The mirrors must be highly reflective and light, but may not be subject to strong thermal expansion. Which was already involved in the development of antennas for ALMA - - In this context, the University of Cologne, the University of Bonn and the Vertex antenna GmbH perform a design study.


The CCAT should be clarified previously open questions in cosmology and astrophysics. The telescope will give you a glimpse into the early days of the universe about 10 to 12 billion years and see the formation of the first galaxies. In this context, the scientists also hope to further insights into the formation of clusters of galaxies, and the properties of dark matter and dark energy.


The development and construction of the CCAT are the Cornell University, the California Institute of Technology involved with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and other U.S. and Canadian universities. German support is granted by the University of Cologne, the University of Bonn and Duisburg Vertex antenna GmbH; are contributing the German and Canadian universities 10% of the cost of around 140 million U.S. dollars.