ATACAMA. CCAT : The Cornell-Caltech Atacama Telescope. A joint project of Cornell University, the California Institute of Technology and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Guiding Principles Scientific Excellence Internal Synergy
CCAT : The Cornell-Caltech Atacama Telescope
A joint project of Cornell University,
the California Institute of Technology
and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
*ALMA: an international telescope project, currently funded by the US (through
the NSF and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory) and Europe
(trough the European Southern Observatory). It will consist of an array
of 64 antennas which will operate in Atacama at mm wavelengths.
Cost: $750M Completion date: year 2012
Reprocessed by dust
That’s the energy regime
at which most of the
Universe’s early light
era reaches us.
And at which
in star &
How did we get from this:
… and this?
… and this
star formation rate
Starburst systems emit the vast
majority of their light in the FIR
Arp220is a SB, merging system, forming stars at a rate of
By comparison, the Milky Way
forms stars at the rate
NOTE: at high z, the SED of a SB galaxy
yields a neutral or even positive
K-correction in the FIR bands
KBOs: trans-Neptunian objects probably formed early in the
Outer reaches of the solar protoplanetary disk.
Several hundreds known; Pluto (D~2400km), Charon (D~1200 km),
Varuna (D~900km) are the largest.
Optical/NIR observations yield orbital parms, flux – not size.
At distances of 40-50 AU, KBOs have temperatures near 45 K,
emitting most of their radiation in FIR. Pluto, Charon, Varuna &
Chaor have been detected at 850 mm by JCMT, yielding sizes
and albedos. In the RJ regime, the flux at the wavelength l is
where D is the KBO diameter and D is its distance
The measurement of S yields the size D and, in combination with
optical/NIR measurements of the reflected light, the albedo and
estimates of the surface properties.
Problems: sensitivity and confusion
CCAT can easily detect KBOs with D~150 km in few hours and, with
sufficient integration, it can detect even smaller objects without
Hundreds of thousands KBOs with D>100 km may exist: the AT
could reveal the size function and surface properties of the KBO
Serendipity: exposures of the kind required by primeval galaxy surveys
may be able to detect ~ 1 KBO per frame.
With CCAT, which will be the most sensitive FIR/submm telescope in the world
In the highest, driest tropical region
on Earth …
At an elevation of ~17,000 ft a.m.s.l., in the Atacama region of
Northern Chile, it will be the highest observatory on Earth.
View from the Summit of Cerro Negro, to the North
The CCAT will detect
SFR~10-30 up to a
z ~ 3, and
SFR~100 at all z