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Construction of the world's tallest telescope has been completed

Construction of the world's tallest telescope has been completed

The new TAO observatory is located in the Atacama Desert in Chile. Astronomers there want to know more about dusty regions of space.

On Wednesday, at the summit of the 5,640-meter-high Cerro Chajnantor mountain in northern Chile. Tokyo Atakama University Observatory (TAO) opened. It is the highest telescope in the world. It is no coincidence that it is also located in one of the driest regions on Earth. As Scinexx reports.

The 8.5-metre-tall telescope is intended to allow astronomers to conduct investigations unobstructed Infrared range Make it possible. “Thanks to its high altitude and dry environment, TAO will be the only ground-based telescope in the world that allows clear observations in the mid-infrared range,” explains TAO Director Takashi Miyata.

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Through extreme droughtWhich prevails in the Atacama Desert, and the atmosphere there is particularly clear. Because the air above the telescope contains almost no moisture, astronomers can observe distant galaxies, stars, and planets without disturbance. Disorder Examine what could be absorbing or interfering with infrared radiation.

The TAO observatory is equipped with highly sophisticated instruments featuring special optics and sensors. Researchers also have a special one Spectrophotographer It is called a simultaneous wide-field multi-object infrared spectrometer (SWIMS). This would make it possible to observe a very large area of ​​the sky simultaneously in two different bands of light waves.

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Star forming regions and black holes

Thanks to this special equipment, astronomers hope to gain new insights into star formation regions. With SWIMS spectrometers, researchers want to do different things Galaxies Investigate and learn more about Basic structures of the universe expertise. This also includes the formation of supermassive black holes. Another special device is called Multi-field mid-infrared imaging It is intended to help get a closer look at particularly dusty areas of the space.

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Because the Atacama Desert in Chile is very dry, this site is particularly suitable for astronomical observations. That's why this is happening there right now Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) building. It will be the largest telescope in the whole world. In addition to the TAO telescope, Cerro Chajnantor is also home to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescopes and the APEX telescope.