SOAR Telescope

 

The SOAR Project was initiated by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1987. The final project development team was formed at the beginning of 1997. Cerro Pachón is located 10 km southeast of CTIO (Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory) in the Chilean Andes. On the same mountain as SOAR, about 0.4 kilometers far from north, is the Gemini South Observatory, close enough to access Gemini instruments and its mirror-coating facility. 

The SOAR Telescope is among the foremost research facilities available to astronomers in the southern hemisphere, producing the best image quality at wavelengths from optical to near-infrared, and at the same time offering both imaging and spectroscopic capabilities. 

SOAR is a joint project of the Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovações do Brasil (MCTIC/LNA), NSF’s NOIRLab, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and Michigan State University (MSU).

For scientists: More details can be found on the science page.

 

SOAR Telescope

Name(s) SOAR Telescope
Status Operational
Broad Science Goals The telescope is designed to work from the atmospheric cut-off in the blue (320 nm) to the near-infrared, with excellent optical image quality. 
Site Cerro Pachón, Chile
Location Coordinates 30º 14' 16.41" S
70º 44' 01.11" W
Altitude 2713 meters (8900 feet)
Enclosure Fiberglass dome
Type Optical and near-infrared telescope
Optical Design f/16.63  Ritchey-Chrétien, with 2 Nasmyth and 3 folded Cassegrain foci
Field of View 10 arcminutes diameter
Diameter: Primary M1 4.1 meters (100 mm thick), 120 actuator active support system
Material: Primary M1 Corning Ultra Low Expansion (ULE) glass. 
Diameter: Secondary M2 0.615 m 
Material: Secondary M2 Corning Ultra Low Expansion (ULE) glass.
Diameter: Tertiary M3
 
Material: Tertiary M3
 
Mount Alt-Az design built by Vertex-RSI Corp
First Light Date 2006
Adaptive Optics Ground-layer Adaptive Optics (SOAR Adaptive-Optics Module - SAM)
Images taken with the SOAR Telescope

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Images of the SOAR Telescope

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Videos of the SOAR Telescope

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Press Releases with the SOAR Telescope

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Please help us to complete this page by emailing information and corrections to info@noirlab.edu.