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Telescopes & Observatories

NSF investments in major telescopes and observatories allow us to peer deep into space and far into the past. These large ground-based instruments, observing at various wavelengths, reveal information about the origins of the universe, its natural laws, and the stars, planets, and other objects it contains. They are superb training grounds forĀ future scientists--and they inspire people everywhere to share the excitement of exploring the unknown.

19 Research Assets Found :: Telescopes & Observatories

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view of Pierre Auger observatory

Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory

The Pierre Auger Observatory is designed to study the origin and nature of the highest energy particles ever observed, which shower down on Earth in the form of cosmic rays....


Type: Research Assets
South Pole telescope

South Pole Telescope

The 10-meter South Pole Telescope probes the nature of dark energy and inflation, taking advantage of the ideal viewing conditions in the cold, dry atmosphere of Antarctica....


Type: Research Assets
ALMA antennas

Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) - PLANNED

ALMA will be the most capable imaging radio telescope ever built and will bring to millimeter and submillimeter astronomy the high-resolution aperture synthesis techniques of radio astronomy. ...


Type: Research Assets
diagram of ATST

Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) - PLANNED

ATST will enable study of the magneto-hydrodynamic phenomena in the solar photosphere, chromosphere, and corona....


Type: Research Assets
locations of VLBA telescopes

Very Long Baseline Array

The Very Long Baseline Array's 10 radio telescopes are spaced across the country from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands, spanning more than 5,000 miles and providing astronomers with the sharpest vision of any telescope on Earth or in space....


Type: Research Assets
photo of Very Large Array

Very Large Array & Expanded VLA Project

The Very Large Array, one of the world's premier radio astronomy observatories, consists of 27 radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration located on the plains of New Mexico....


Type: Research Assets
solar telescope

Synoptic Optical Long-term Investigations of the Sun

The facilities of the Synoptic Optical Long-term Investigations of the Sun--a suite of instruments on Kitt Peak in Arizona--will observe the sun's magnetic field continuously over several decades, providing data fundamental to understanding solar activity. ...


Type: Research Assets
solar telescope

McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope

The McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope, located on Kitt Peak in Arizona, is the largest unobstructed-aperture optical telescope in the world, and is capable of high-precision solar observations, spectroscopy, and polarimetry. ...


Type: Research Assets
Aerial view of telescopes on Kitt Peak

Kitt Peak National Observatory

Kitt Peak National Observatory, located on a high, dry site in the Sonora Desert of Arizona, provides scientists with a diverse collection of telescopes for optical and infrared astronomy and astrophysics....


Type: Research Assets
Hilltop Dome solar telescope

Hilltop Dome Facility

The Hilltop Dome Facility on Sacramento Peak in New Mexico is a solar astronomy facility containing telescopes that track the sun throughout the day, regularly recording images of the sun and its activity....


Type: Research Assets
One of the GONG stations

Global Oscillation Network Group

The Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) operates six stations around the globe to study the structure and dynamics of the sun with helioseismology--the measurement of acoustic waves that penetrate the solar interior....


Type: Research Assets
Evans solar telescope

Evans Solar Facility

The John W. Evans Solar Facility, on Sacramento Peak in New Mexico, features two telescopes used for observing the solar corona and activity associated with the solar cycle....


Type: Research Assets
Dunn solar telescope

Dunn Solar Telescope

The Richard B. Dunn Solar Telescope, located on Sacramento Peak in New Mexico, is the premier national facility for observing the sun and conducting high-resolution solar physics....


Type: Research Assets
Cerro Tololo telescopes

Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory

Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, located in a high, dry region of Chile's Atacama Desert, provides scientists with telescopes for observing astronomical objects visible only from the Southern Hemisphere....


Type: Research Assets
photo gbt

Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope

The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope is the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope, featuring a 100-meter dish and 2,004 adjustable surface panels....


Type: Research Assets
Arecibo telescope

National Astronomy & Ionosphere Center

The NAIC enables research in the areas of astronomy, planetary studies, and space and atmospheric sciences by providing unique capabilities and state-of-the-art instrumentation for data collection and analysis, together with logistical support to users....


Type: Research Assets
Aerial view of LIGO facility in Louisiana

Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory

LIGO is an instrument for sensing the presence of matter in the distant universe. LIGO does this by detecting gravitational waves, gravitational ripples created by violent events such as the collisions of stars and the vibrations of black holes....


Type: Research Assets
Photo of Gemini Observatory at night

Gemini Observatory

The Gemini Observatory consists of twin 8-meter optical/infrared telescopes located on two of the world's best observing sites. From their locations on mountains in Hawaii and Chile, Gemini Observatory's telescopes can access the entire sky....


Type: Research Assets
Photo of IceCube equipment and buildings

IceCube Neutrino Observatory

The IceCube, the world's first high-energy neutrino detector, is located at NSF's Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station with a mission to understand the nature of dark matter and what powers the most energetic engines in the cosmos....


Type: Research Assets, Facilities & Networks
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