Large Millimeter Telescope

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Large Millimeter Telescope
Organization National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Location Volcán Sierra Negra
Coordinates 18°59′09″N 97°18′53″W / 18.98583°N 97.31472°W / 18.98583; -97.31472Coordinates: 18°59′09″N 97°18′53″W / 18.98583°N 97.31472°W / 18.98583; -97.31472[1]
Altitude 4,640 metres (15,200 ft)
Wavelength 0.85–4 mm (75–350 GHz)
Built 2001-2010
First light 2011-06-17[2]
Telescope style Bent Cassegrain
Diameter 50 m
Secondary dia. 2.5 m
Angular resolution 5″ at 1 mm
Collecting area 1960 m²
Focal length 525 m
Mounting Altitude-azimuth

The Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) (Spanish: Gran Telescopio Milimétrico, or GTM) was inaugurated in Mexico on 22 November 2006. It is the world's largest and most sensitive single-aperture telescope in its frequency range, built for observing radio waves in the wave lengths from approximately 0.85 to 4 mm. It has an active surface with a diameter of 50 metres and 2000 m² of collecting area.

Location of the LMT.

It is located within Chalchicomula de Sesma municipality, on top of the Sierra Negra, the fifth highest peak in Mexico and an extinct volcanic companion to Mexico's highest mountain, the Pico de Orizaba, in the state of Puebla. Its construction took 10 years, and cost 116 million dollars. It is a binational Mexican (80%) – American (20%) joint project of the Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE) and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Millimeter wavelength observations using the LMT will give astronomers a view of regions which are obscured by dust in the interstellar medium, thus increasing our knowledge about star formation. The telescope is also particularly fitted for observing solar system planetesimals and planets and extra-solar protoplanetary disks which are relatively cold and emit most of their radiation at millimeter wavelengths. There are also proposals for observing fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background as well as active galactic nuclei.


  1. ^ Souccar, Kamal; Wallace, Gary; Malin, Daniella (2001-03-24), Large Millimeter Telescope Monitor and Control Developer's Manual - Version 2.0, retrieved 2012-01-23  gives the location in radians as (-1.69846,0.331365)
  2. ^ "UMass Amherst Astronomers, Partnering With Mexican Institute Receive First Light Data from Giant New Telescope" (Press release). UMass Amherst. 2011-06-17. Retrieved 2013-01-06. 

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