CCAT Observatory Approaches First Light

For the past six years, CCAT Observatory Inc., a nonprofit research organization formed by more than a dozen academic institutions led by Cornell University, has been developing a new telescope, the Fred Young Submillimeter Telescope (FYST, pronounced “feast”) and its supporting infrastructure to observe at sub-millimeter wavelengths. The infrastructure is currently under construction at an altitude of 5,600 m near the summit of Cerro Chajnantor in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, one of the driest places on Earth. Since water vapor absorbs the wavelengths of interest, the site is arguably the best ground-based location for submillimeter observations due to its thin, ultradry atmosphere. Once complete, it will be the second highest observatory in the world.

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Rendering of the site for the Fred Young Submillimeter Telescope