Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory

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Coordinates: 30 ° 10 ′ 9 ″  S , 70 ° 48 ′ 21 ″  W

The Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory ( CTIO ) is a complex of astronomical telescopes and instruments on Cerro Tololo, about 80 km east of La Serena in Chile at an altitude of 2200 meters. The CTIO's IAU code is 807.

The complex is part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) together with the Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) in Tucson , Arizona .


4m Victor M. Blanco telescope

The observatory has a number of reflector telescopes . The main instrument on the Cerro Tololo is that

  • 4 m Victor M. Blanco telescope. Instruments available for this telescope are:
    • 8K image sensor,
    • Hydra-CTIO spectrograph , with which up to 138 objects can be examined simultaneously,
    • and a classic RC spectrograph.

There are also some smaller telescopes, the so-called "smarts". In order of the diameter of the main mirror, these are:

  • 1.5 m to which the "CPAPIR", a wide field IR image sensor, or an RC ( Cassegrain ) spectrograph can be connected,
  • 1.3 m, with "ANDICAM" (image sensor for simultaneous recordings in the visible and infrared ),
  • 1.0 m, with a 4K visible light image sensor and
  • 0.9 m, with a 2K image sensor for visible light.

It also houses a KMTNet telescope with an aperture of 1.6 m and the so-called Curtis- Schmidt telescope with an aperture of 61 cm.

This is located on Cerro Pachòn , around 500 meters higher (coordinates: 30 ° 13 ′ 0 ″  S , 70 ° 43 ′ 0 ″  W ), 10 km away

Research projects

The Victor M. Blanco Telescope is the primary research tool of the Dark Energy Survey , a project to study dark energy . The first light of the DECam (Dark Energy Camera) was on September 12, 2012.

See also

Web links

Commons : Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. Picture of the CTIO 61-cm Curtis Schmidt
  2. ^ The dark side of the universe economist.com
  3. DES Instrumentation. Retrieved October 3, 2019 . darkenergysurvey.org; DES @ en.wp, accessed February 21, 2012
  4. Dark Energy Camera and Dark Energy Survey: photos, videos & graphics fnal.gov; Berkeley Lab sensors enable first light for the dark energy camera phys.org, accessed September 18, 2012
  5. ^ The Dark Energy Camera opens its eyes symmetrymagazine.org, accessed September 12, 2012