Caltech Submillimeter Observatory

Caltech Submillimeter Observatory
Organisation California Institute of Technology
Location(s) Mauna Kea, United States of America
Coordinates 19°49′21″N 155°28′34″W / 19.8225°N 155.476°W / 19.8225; -155.476Coordinates: 19°49′21″N 155°28′34″W / 19.8225°N 155.476°W / 19.8225; -155.476
Altitude 13,570 ft (13,570 ft)
Wavelength 1300 to 350 µm
Built 1985
First light 1986
Telescope style radio telescope
Diameter 10.4 m (34 ft 1 in)

The Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) is a 10.4-meter (34 ft) diameter submillimeter wavelength telescope situated alongside the 15-meter (49 ft) James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) at Mauna Kea Observatory. It is engaged in submillimeter astronomy, of the terahertz radiation band. The telescoped closed on September 18, 2015. The telescope is set to be decommissioned in the near future as part of the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan.[1]


The CSO and JCMT were combined to form the first submillimeter interferometer. The success of this experiment was important in pushing ahead the construction of the Submillimeter Array and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array interferometers.


On April 30, 2009, Caltech announced plans to decommission the CSO, transferring ongoing research to the next-generation Cerro Chajnantor Atacama Telescope (CCAT) in Chile. The plans call for CSO to be dismantled beginning in 2016, with its site returned to a natural state by 2018.[2]

Caltech Submillimeter Observatory.

See also


  1. "Third Maunakea observatory set for decommissioning". University of Hawaii News. University of Hawaii. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  2. "Caltech Submillimeter Observatory in Hawaii to be Decommissioned" (Press release). April 30, 2009. Retrieved December 22, 2010.

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