Progress is being made on the Fred Young Submillimeter Telescope

(ORDO NEWS) — A huge hole with a diameter of 22 meters was dug near the top of Cerro Chajnantor in the Chilean Atacama Desert at an altitude of 5,600 meters.

The pit is ready for the cement foundation that will one day house the Fred Young Submillimeter Telescope (FYST). The foundation, designed in Chile, began construction in the fall of 2021 and is scheduled to be installed on top in May-June.

The entire telescope is built and pre-assembled in Germany, after which it will be disassembled into 10-12 large parts and transported to Chile for assembly. The road that will take the massive parts of the telescope to the summit has already been laid, and more than nine kilometers of power and fiber optic cables are already being laid.

“We’re very pleased with how well construction is going,” said Terry Herter, project director and professor of astronomy at the College of Arts and Sciences. “Despite COVID-19, labor shortages and supply issues, we expect the first light to come in 2024.”

FYST has a new optical design with high-precision mirrors with a diameter of 6 meters. It will provide high throughput, wide field of view, which will allow you to quickly and efficiently map the sky in the submillimeter and millimeter wavelength ranges.

The scientists of the project hope to collect data that will give them insight into the earliest days of the universe, when the first stars were born after the Big Bang, what the researchers call “cosmic dawn”. It will also play a role in the search for gravitational waves and dark matter.

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