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TAO Project

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What is the TAO project?

The TAO project is a plan to build a world-top infrared-optimized telescope with a 6.5m diameter aperture on the summit of Cerro Chajnantor at Atacama in north Chile. This telescope will be dedicated to understand the nature of the Universe and the origin of life. The TAO project is promoted by Institute of Astronomy (IoA), the University of Tokyo with collaboration with the Department of Astronomy, the University of Tokyo, many other Japanese facilities including the National Astronomical Observatory, ISAS/JAXA, and other universities as well as partnership with the Department of Astronomy, the University of Chile.

News ListLatest News

Apr 30, 2024
Breaking news! The University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory (TAO) Telescope Site Completion Ceremony Holds
TAO The University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory (TAO) Project is to construct the 6.5m optical-infrared telescope at summit of Cerro Chajnantor, an altitude of 5,640 m (18,500 ft) in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. TAO Project not only conducts cutting-edge researches in astronomy and astrophysics covering a wide range of fields from the ... more>>
Apr 28, 2023
SWIMS open use observations at the Subaru Telescope completed
TopFig03 The Simultaneous-color Wide-field Infrared Multi-object Spectrograph (SWIMS), the first-generation instrument for the TAO 6.5-m telescope, has completed its open use operation at the Subaru Telescope (NAOJ, in Hawaii), which had lasted 2 years since 2021. We began designing and manufacturing SWIMS in 2009, conducted ... more>>
Jul 11, 2022
Near-Infrared Echelle Spectrograph NICE is under preparation for shipping to Chile
TopFig03 NICE (Near-Infrared Cross dispersed Echelle spectrograph) is the first-light instrument for the TAO telescope which was developed at the Institute of Astronomy (IoA), the University of Tokyo in 2000. NICE covers the near-infrared wavelength range of 0.9 to 2.5 micron with a spectral resolution of 2,600, using ... more>>
Jul 03, 2022
Recent Progress of the Mid-Infrared Instrument MIMIZUKU
TopFig03 MIMIZUKU is the first-generation mid-infrared instrument of the TAO telescope. It is equipped with three optical channels, NIR, MIR-S, and MIR-L, each of which covers a different wavelength range, allowing us to observe a wide wavelength range from near-infrared to long-wavelengths mid-infrared. In 2018, MIMIZUKU was mounted on the Subaru Telescope and ... more>>
Dec 01, 2021
Handle large instruments at will: development of instrument-handling cart
TopFig03 For observations, we have to attach observation instruments to the TAO telescope. The TAO telescope has four places where instruments can be mounted (called foci): two bent-Cassegrain foci and two Nasmyth foci (Fig. 1). Relatively small instruments will be mounted on the bent-Cassegrain foci, and the mainstay instruments ... more>>
Mar 26, 2021
Temporary assembly test of the TAO operation building has been completed
IMG_4128btop At the summit of Co. Chajnantor (altitude 5640m), an enclosure which protects the TAO telescope from harsh natural environments, and an operation building which has equipment to perform observation and maintenance, will be constructed ... more>>
Jul 27, 2020
The 4th SWIMS Science WS - for SWIMS Open-use Operation as a PI-type Instrument on the Subaru Telescope - was held.
TopFig03 SWIMS, the Simultaneous-color Wide-field Infrared camera and Multi-object Spectrograph for the TAO Telescope, had successfully completed its commissioning observations on the Subaru Telescope from 2018 to 2019. After them, an official decision was made in July 2020 that the SWIMS was served as a PI-type open-use instrument at the Subaru ... more>>
Jan 17, 2020
Optical performance test of the 6.5-m primary mirror has been completed
TopFig03 The large primary mirror of the TAO telescope, which collects the light from celestial objects, started production in September 2013 (*the contract date). It was manufactured by the Mirror Laboratory of the University of Arizona (the current official name is Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory), which has manufactured many primary mirrors ... more>>
Dec 26, 2019
MIMIZUKU: Preparing in Japan for Full-Scale Observations
MIMIZUKU MIMIZUKU, the mid-infrared instrument for the TAO 6.5m telescope has made its commissioning observation on the Subaru Telescope of NAOJ in Hawaii in 2018 (see here for more details). It was MIMIZUKU's first light, the initial observation of celestial bodies, and one of the milestones of our development ... more>>
Nov 30, 2019
Preparations of NICE (the first-light instrument for the TAO) are underway
TopFig03 NICE (Near-Infrared Cross dispersed Echelle spectrograph) is a NIR echelle spectrograph which was developed at the Institute of Astronomy (IoA), the University of Tokyo in 2000 (the PI: Prof. Masuo Tanaka) and will be equipped with the TAO 6.5m telescope as the first-light instrument. NICE uses the echelle grating and... more>>
Aug 27, 2019
International Workshop of Mid-iInfrared Observational Astronomy was held
TopFig03 Ground-based mid-infrared astronomical observations are entering a new era. COMICS, which has been in operation at Subaru Telescope since 2000, will be retired in 2020, while a new mid-infrared instrument, MIMIZUKU, has successfully completed its test observations, and its observations at the TAO telescope are approaching... more>>