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July 26, 2007

World's Largest Submillimeter Telescope being built for 2013

A consortium has been created to oversee the building of a $100 million 25-meter submillimeter telescope on a high elevation in Chile

Because submillimeter-wavelength astronomy is especially effective for imaging phenomena that do not emit much visible light, the Atacama telescope will allow observations of stars and planets forming from swirling disks of gas and dust, will make measurements to determine the composition of the molecular clouds from which the stars are born, and could even discover large numbers of galaxies undergoing huge bursts of star formation in the very distant universe.

Also, the 25-meter telescope could be used to study the origin of large-scale structure in the universe. The telescope will 6 to 10 times the light as the 10.4 meter Caltech Submillimeter Observatory.

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