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Arizona Radio Observatory

Large dish points up to the sky inside open observatory structure .
ALMA prototype antenna at Kitt Peak National Observatory
Credit: Tom Folkers, Arizona Radio Telescope, Steward Observatory, University of Arizona

Telescope Details



Kitt Peak, Arizona


Observe light emission of the first stars, thought to have been produced more than 12 billion years ago, using a novel technique in which red-shifted ionized carbon is observed at submillimeter wavelengths.

NIST’s role:

Provided electronics for the TIME (tomographic ionized carbon intensity mapping experiment) instrument, formerly called TIME-Pilot, which extracts information statistically.

Major discoveries:

The TIME instrument and experiment’s first science run is planned for late 2021.

Other interesting facts:

TIME’s measurements of the carbon signal, sensitive to the emission from dwarf galaxies that is otherwise difficult to detect individually, could validate theoretical estimates of this new cosmological indicator, opening the door for a new generation of instruments to probe the history of star formation.

Funded by:

State of Arizona and the National Science Foundation


Scientific instrument has bronze-colored keylike parts and silver-colored cover panels.
TIME-Pilot during assembly
Credit: Jonathon Hunacek/Caltech
Created October 6, 2021, Updated November 3, 2021