Plateau de Bure Interferometer

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Plateau de Bure Interferometer
Plateau de Bure Interferometer
Picture of several of Plateau de Bure Interferometer's antennas, with one of the rails for antenna displacement in the foreground.
Organization Institut de radioastronomie millimétrique
Location Plateau de Bure, Grenoble, France
Coordinates
Altitude 2,550 m (8366 ft)
Established 1988
Website
http://www.iram.fr/IRAMFR/index.htm

The Plateau de Bure Interferometer is a six-antenna interferometer on the Plateau de Bure (2550 m) in the French Alps, operated by the Institut de radioastronomie millimétrique. It is specifically designed for millimetre-wave observations and specialises in studies of line emission from molecular gas and radio continuum of cold dust.[1]


The interferometer consists of six antennas with a diameter of 15m each. These antennae can be placed in a T-shaped pattern, with North - South track of 368m and an East - West track of 768m. There are 32 stations along these tracks where the antennae can be positioned. Observing bands are at 3,2,1.8 and 0.8 mm. [2] At an observing wavelength of 3 mm (100 GHz frequency) each of these telescopes can resolve two objects 45 arcseconds apart from each other on the sky. In an interferometer, these 45″ are actually the size of the field of view. So an interferometer like this one images, at very high resolution (better than 1″), structures smaller than 45″.[3] On July 1, 1999 20 people were killed at the crash of the aerial tramway leading up to the observatory.[4]

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