Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope

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CFHT in the morning.
CFHT at sunset.
The telescope in August 2002.

The Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope is located near the summit of Mauna Kea mountain on Hawaii's Big Island at an altitude of 4,204 meters (13,793 feet), and is one of the observatories that comprise the Mauna Kea Observatory. Operational since 1979,[1] the telescope is a Prime Focus/Cassegrain configuration with a usable aperture diameter of 3.58 meters.

The corporation is bound by a tripartite agreement between the University of Hawaii, the National Research Council (NRC) in Canada and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in France. CFHT also has partnerships with the National Astronomical Observatory of China (NAOC), the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) in Taiwan, the Laboratório Nacional de Astrofisica (LNA) in Brazil and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) in Korea. The contributions from these associate partners help fund CFHT's future instrumentation. Currently, CFHT observing time is offered to scientists from all the seven countries in the partnership. Astronomers from the European Union can also submit proposals through the Optical Infrared Coordination Network for Astronomy (OPTICON) access program.

CFHT currently operates four instruments:

  • MegaCam,[2] a one square degree field high-resolution CCD mosaic of 36 CCDs totalling 340 megapixels.
  • WIRCam,[3] an infrared mosaic of 4 detectors totalling 16 megapixels, optimized for the J, H, and K spectral bands.[4]
  • ESPaDOnS,[5] an echelle spectrograph/spectropolarimeter.
  • PUEO/KIR,[6][7] an adaptive-optics bonette used in conjunction with KIR, a high resolution 1024 × 1024 near-infrared camera sensitive to radiation from 0.7 to 2.5 µm.

Future instrumentation planned for CFHT includes SITELLE, a Fourier transform spectrograph and SPIRou, a near-infrared spectropolarimeter. A project is also underway to refurbish some of the optics of MegaCam.

CFHT, in collaboration with Coelum Astronomia, maintains a public-outreach website called "Hawaiian Starlight" which offers extremely high-quality versions of CFHT images in various formats including a yearly calendar.

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Coordinates: 19°49′31″N 155°28′10″W / 19.825347°N 155.469578°W / 19.825347; -155.469578