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|Caltech Submillimeter Observatory
The Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) is a cutting-edge facility
for astronomical research and instrumentation development. It is
simultaneously one of the world's premier submillimeter telescopes
and one of the easiest to use. It may also have the distinction of
being the world's only professional observatory without an operator.
The astronomer is given full control of the telescope during observing.
The CSO is located on "submillimeter ridge" near the summit
of Mauna Kea, Hawai'i. The CSO consists of a 10.4-meter diameter
Leighton dish, a hexagonally-segmented design similar to, but predating,
that of the Keck Observatories. The dish is protected from the sun
by a compact dome which houses the control room, instumentation rooms,
and observers' lounge. The telescope is operated by Caltech under
a contract from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and has been
operating on a regular basis since 1988.
For more information visit the Caltech
Submillimeter Observatory website.
Image Credit: CFO by G. Brad Lewis, Science Photo Gallery