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TAO Project

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Overview

Institute of Astronomy, School of Science, the University of Tokyo is promoting TAO (The University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory) project that constructs a 6.5 m infrared telescope with excellent world-class performances in Atacama, Chile. We will install this big telescope at 5640 m altitude, the highest astronomical site on the ground, and make observations to investigate the origins of galaxies and planets.

5640 m altitude; the highest astronomical site all over the world

We are planning to build the TAO telescope at the altitude of 5640 m; the highest place in the world. This extremely dry site has the least water vapor in the atmosphere which absorbs infrared rays from the universe, and this unique weather condition together with clear sky almost everyday makes this site to be one of the best places for cosmic infrared observations. Moreover, Atacama, Chile is located in the southern hemisphere, so we can observe various astronomical objects that are never able to be seen from the northern hemisphere.

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£The TAO telescope is planning to be built at the summit of Mt. Chaknantor in northern Chile. Mt. Chaknantor is located in the Andes Mountains near the Atacama Desert.

Collaborations with other telescopes such as ALMA

We aim at overall understandings of galaxies by observing the same galaxies with both TAO and ALMA.