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Fred Young Submillimeter Telescope

A blocky white building sits in the desert surrounded by mountains.
Fred Young Submillimeter Telescope
Credit: CCAT Observatory Inc.

Telescope Details



Cerro Chajnantor, Chile


Study the dynamic interstellar medium in the Milky Way, the Magellanic Clouds and other nearby galaxies; collect measurements to place new constraints on dark energy and the sum of the neutrino masses; study distant dusty star-forming galaxies to understand galaxy evolution; and map the distribution of matter in the universe during the time period when the first stars were born.

NIST’s role:

Built and delivered a camera for the telescope and a sensor array for related spectrograph instrument. Plans are underway for NIST to build additional cameras.

Significant discoveries:

This telescope is still under construction.

Other interesting facts:

The telescope site is located at an elevation slightly higher than the basecamp for Mount Everest, the highest mountain on Earth, at 5,600 meters (18,400 feet).

Operated by:

A partnership of Cornell University; a German consortium of the University of Cologne, the University of Bonn and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics; and the Canadian Atacama Telescope Consortium


Colorful rectangles alternate with circles on a sensor array.
NIST sensor array
Credit: NIST
Created October 1, 2021, Updated November 3, 2021