Institut de radioastronomie millimétrique
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The Institut de radioastronomie millimétrique (IRAM) operates two observatories for radio astronomy at millimeter wavelengths, which are open to the international astronomical community: the 30 m single-dish radio telescope located on Pico Veleta (2850 m) in the Spanish Sierra Nevada (Andalucia, Spain), and the six-antenna Plateau de Bure Interferometer (2550 m) in the French Alps. Both sites are at high altitude to reduce the absorption by water vapor. The observatories are supported by the IRAM offices and laboratories in Granada and Grenoble, respectively. IRAM, which is directed by Karl Schuster, has its headquarters in Grenoble.
IRAM was founded in 1979 and is operated as a French-German-Spanish collaboration. Its partner institutes are the CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, France), the MPG (Max Planck Gesellschaft, Germany), and the IGN (Instituto Geográfico Nacional, Spain). The principal activity of IRAM is the study of mostly cold matter (e.g. interstellar molecular gas and dust) in the solar system, in our Milky Way, and other galaxies out to cosmological distances in order to determine their composition, physical parameters and history. IRAM also hosts the research laboratory and platform ASTEP.
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