Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory

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Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory
Cerro Tololo and the Blanco Telescope viewed from the summit access road
CTIO and the Blanco Telescope
Organization NOAO
Observatory code 807
Location Coquimbo Region, Chile
Coordinates 30°10′10.78″S 70°48′23.49″W / 30.1696611°S 70.8065250°W / -30.1696611; -70.8065250Coordinates: 30°10′10.78″S 70°48′23.49″W / 30.1696611°S 70.8065250°W / -30.1696611; -70.8065250
Altitude 2,207 metres (7,241 ft)[1]
Established 1962 (1962)
Website CTIO at NOAO
SOAR Telescope 4.1 m reflector
Blanco Telescope 4.0 m reflector
SMARTS 1.5-meter 1.5 m reflector
SMARTS 1.3-meter 1.3 m reflector
SMARTS "Yale" Telescope 1.0 m reflector
LCOGTN (u/c) 3× 1.0 m reflectors
SMARTS 0.9-meter 0.9 m reflector
PROMPT 7 (u/c) 0.8 m reflector
Curtis-Schmidt Telescope 0.6 m reflector
Wisconsin H-Alpha Mapper 0.6 m telescope
SARA South Telescope 0.6 m reflector
CHASE telescope 0.5 m reflector
PROMPT 6× 0.4 m reflectors
GONG solar telescope
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

The Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) is an astronomical observatory located on Cerro Tololo in the Coquimbo Region of northern Chile, with additional facilities located on Cerro Pachón about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) to the southeast. It is within the Coquimbo Region and approximately 80 kilometres (50 mi) east of La Serena, where support facilities are located. The site was identified by a team of scientists from Chile and the United States in 1959, and it was selected in 1962.[2][3] Construction began in 1963 and regular astronomical observations commenced in 1965.[4] Construction of large buildings on Cerro Tololo ended with the completion of the Víctor Blanco Telescope in 1974, but smaller facilities have been built since then. Cerro Pachón is still under development, with two large telescopes inaugurated since 2000, and one in the early stages of construction.

The principal telescopes at CTIO are the 4 m Víctor M. Blanco Telescope, named after Puerto Rican astronomer Victor Manuel Blanco, and the 4.1 m Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope, which is situated on Cerro Pachón.[5] Other telescopes on Cerro Tololo include the 1.5 m, 1.3 m, 1.0 m, and 0.9 m telescopes operated by the SMARTS consortium. CTIO also hosts other research projects, such as PROMPT, WHAM, and LCOGTN, providing a platform for access to the southern hemisphere for U.S. and world-wide scientific research.[6]


CTIO is one of two observatories managed by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), the other being Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) near Tucson, Arizona. NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), which owns the property around the two peaks in Chile and at the headquarters in La Serena, Chile. AURA also operates the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Gemini Observatory. The 8.1 m (320 in) Gemini South Telescope located on Cerro Pachón is managed by AURA separately from CTIO for an international consortium.[7][8] The National Science Foundation (NSF) is the funding agency for NOAO.[5]

The Small and Medium Research Telescope System (SMARTS) is a consortium formed in 2001 after NOAO announced it would no longer support anything smaller than two meters at CTIO.[9] The member institutions of SMARTS now fund and manage observing time on four telescopes that fit that definition. Access has also been purchased by individual scientists.[10] SMARTS contracts with NOAO to maintain the telescopes it controls at CTIO, and NOAO retains the right to 25% of the observing time, and Chilean scientists retain 10%. SMARTS began managing telescopes in 2003.[9]

CTIOPI is the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory Parallax Investigation. It began in 1999 and uses two telescopes at Cerro Tololo, the SMARTS 1.5 m reflector and the SMARTS 0.9 m reflector. The purpose of CTIOPI is to discover nearby red, white, and brown dwarfs that lurk unidentified in the solar neighborhood. The goal is to discover 300 new southern star systems within 25 parsecs by determining trigonometric parallaxes accurate to 3 milliarcseconds.


SMARTS Telescopes[edit]

Tenant telescopes[edit]

Former telescopes[edit]

Future telescopes[edit]


On the morning of Saturday, December 7, 2013, Luis González, a research assistant at the University of Chile, discovered what would later be confirmed as a supernova by José Maza, an astronomer at University of Chile and a researcher for CATA ( Centro de Astrofísica y Tecnologías Afines or “Centre for Astrophysics and Related Technologies”). The supernova is the first discovery to be made by the CATA 500, a robotic telescope designed and operated by a Chilean team located in Santiago, approximately 500 kilometres to the south.[39] It is part of the GLORIA project, which provides open access to astronomers from around the world to a network of remotely operated robotic telescopes.[40] The new supernova lies in the galaxy ESO 365-G16, located 370 million light years from Earth, and has a mass eight times that of our Sun.[41]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Coordinates for Observatories on Cerro Tololo and Cerro Pachon". Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  2. ^ Moreno, H. (1990). "Chilean Astronomers and the Birth of Cerro Tololo". Revista Mexicana de Astronomia y Astrofisica. 21: 683. Bibcode:1990RMxAA..21..683M. 
  3. ^ a b "CTIO History | CTIO". Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  4. ^ a b c d "OBSERVATORY REPORT: Kitt Peak-Cerro Tololo Inter-American". Astronomical Journal. 71: 229. 1966. Bibcode:1966AJ.....71..229.. doi:10.1086/109912. 
  5. ^ a b c d "About CTIO | CTIO". Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  6. ^ "Programs & Related Items | CTIO". Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  7. ^ "Media Invited to Gemini South Dedication January 18, 2002, La Serena and Cerro Pachón, Chile". Gemini Observatory. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  8. ^ "About The Gemini Observatory". Gemini Observatory. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  9. ^ a b c "SMARTS History | CTIO". Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  10. ^ "Joining SMARTS | CTIO". Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  11. ^ Goldberg, L. (1976). "Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, Arizona; Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, La Serena, Chile. Observatory reports". Bulletin of the Astronomical Society. 8: 129. Bibcode:1976BAAS....8..129G. 
  12. ^ Goldberg, L.; Blanco, V. (1978). "Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, Arizona; Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, La Serena, Chile. Reports". Bulletin of the Astronomical Society. 10: 152. Bibcode:1978BAAS...10..152G. 
  13. ^ "SOAR Status — Southern Astrophysics Research Telescope". SOAR. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  14. ^ Mayall, N. U. (1969). "Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, Arizona and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, La Serena, Chile. Report 1968-1969". Bulletin of the Astronomical Society. 1: 298. Bibcode:1969BAAS....1..298M. 
  15. ^ "2MASS - Telescopes". The University of Massachusetts Amherst Astronomy Department. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  16. ^ "The Yale-CTIO Collaboration: Past and Future". National Optical Astronomy Observatory. 1 December 1997. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  17. ^ Lippincott, S. L.; Heintz, W. D. (1975). "Sproul Observatory, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. Observatory report". Bulletin of the Astronomical Society. 7: 106. Bibcode:1975BAAS....7..106L. 
  18. ^ a b Mayall, N. U. (1968). "Facilities for Visitors at Kitt Peak National Observatory and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory". Zeitschrift für Astrophysik. 68: 222. Bibcode:1968ZA.....68..222M. 
  19. ^ "Lowell 0.6-m Telescope to be Mothballed". National Optical Astronomy Observatory. 1 March 1996. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  20. ^ "A Brief History of SARA". Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  21. ^ "Michigan Astronomy | Observatories: Curtis-Schmidt Telescope". University of Michigan Department of Astronomy. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  22. ^ "WHAM Description". University of Wisconsin Department of Astronomy. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  23. ^ Hamuy, Mario (2011-05-27). "CHASE: Chilean Automatic Supernova Search" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-02-06. 
  24. ^ "Chile forma parte del recién creado "facebook" astronómico mundial su nombre es GLORIA". 2011-11-05. Retrieved 2012-02-06. 
  25. ^ "PROMPT Announcement". University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Physics and Astronomy. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  26. ^ "SKYNET News Archives". University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Physics and Astronomy. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  27. ^ "NSO/GONG: Site - Cerro Tololo". National Solar Observatory. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  28. ^ "The 1.2 m Telescopes". Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophyics Millimeter-wave Group. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  29. ^ "Millimeter-wave Laboratory". Universidad de Chile Department of Astronomy. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  30. ^ Zacharias, M. I.; Zacharias, N. (2003). "The U. S. Naval Observatory CCD Astrograph Catalog project". Astronomy in Latin America: 109. Bibcode:2003ala..conf..109Z. 
  31. ^ Gaustad, John E.; McCullough, Peter R.; Rosing, Wayne; Van Buren, Dave (2001). "A Robotic Wide‐Angle Hα Survey of the Southern Sky". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 113 (789): 1326. arXiv:astro-ph/0108518Freely accessible. Bibcode:2001PASP..113.1326G. doi:10.1086/323969. 
  32. ^ "New White Dwarf Appears on Cerro Tololo". National Optical Astronomy Observatory. 1 March 1997. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  33. ^ Ochoa, Hugo; Norman, Dara (1 September 2006). "The Dwarf Moves to a New Home" (PDF). National Optical Astronomy Observatory. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  34. ^ "Cerro Tololo". Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  35. ^ "Update at Chile Site". Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  36. ^ "LSST Timeline | LSST". LSST Corporation. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  37. ^ Kim, Seung-Lee; et al. (15 September 2011), "Wide-field telescope design for the KMTNet project", Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets V. SPIE Conference Proceedings, 8151: 81511B 
  38. ^ "S-MAPS Sites and Telescopes". Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  39. ^ Dramatic supernova find by Chilean team thisischile.cl, January 07, 2014, retrieved January 10, 2014
  40. ^ GLORIA project - about gloria-project-eu, retrieved January 12, 2014.
  41. ^ Telescopio chileno capta su primera supernova {es} latercera.cl, Cristina Espinoza C., December 19, 2013, retrieved January 10, 2014.

External links[edit]