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New wide-angle telescope in the Chilean mountains

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February 14, 2021, at 11:46

The new telescope in Chile offers insights into the formation of the universe. The opportunity to gain new insights into the formation of stars and planets and to explore the Big Bang by building a new wide-angle telescope in the Chilean mountains / Canadian partners will be funded with $ 4.9 million. Press release from the University of Cologne.

February 12, 2021 – High in the Chilean mountains, in the Atacama Desert, at 5,600 meters high Cerro Chajnantor, is one of the driest places in the country. With the recent Fred Young Submillimeter (FYST), astronomers hope to gain new insights into the formation of stars and galaxies in our universe. Researchers at the University of Cologne Professor Dr. Jürgen Stutzki is a member of an international consortium of researchers. The Canadian Innovation Foundation has funded Canadian partners with $ 4.9 million, and the project is now on a safe footing.

The FYST wide-angle telescope makes observations in the radiative range below a millimeter, which is slightly distorted by water vapor from the Earth’s atmosphere, so a high and dry location is needed. With its innovative wide-angle design, it is optimized to measure light from the earliest moments after an initial explosion. In contrast to visible light, submillimeter radiation typically comes from dust and molecular clouds surrounding distant, supermassive black holes and star-rich galaxies, but also from areas where stars and planetary systems form. Therefore, in addition to studying these areas, FYST’s observations are also intended to provide crucial information about the Great Bang by explaining the observations of the cosmic microwave background, the oldest light in the universe.

The Fred Young Submillimeter is part of the CCAT-prime project, an international collaboration between Cornell University, the Atacama Telescope Consortium in Canada, led by the University of Waterloo and involving the University of Dalhousie, the University of Alberta, the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto and a German consortium University of Bonn and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics. The Canadian team, led by Michel Fich, a professor at the University of Waterloo, will receive $ 4.9 million from the Canadian Innovation Foundation to build the telescope.

We are delighted that our long-term partners in the CCAT prime region are finally safe on their financial feet ?, says Jürgen Stutzki of the Institute of Astrophysics at the University of Cologne and director of the German CCAT-prime consortium. Your expertise in a number of scientific areas from CCAT-prime was and will be a welcome and necessary addition to the project. With the help of the telescope, we gain an understanding of the formation of stars as the driving force behind the evolution of the universe from the early days of the first stars to the modern universe.

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Source: University of Cologne

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