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Proceedings Paper

The Greenland Telescope
Author(s): Paul Grimes; Raymond Blundell
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Paper Abstract

In the spring of 2010, the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, acquired the ALMA North America prototype antenna – a state-of-the-art 12-m diameter dish designed for submillimeter astronomy. Together with the MIT-Haystack Observatory and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, the plan is to retrofit this antenna for cold-weather operation and equip it with a suite of instruments designed for a variety of scientific experiments and observations. The primary scientific goal is to image the shadow of the Super-Massive Black Hole in M87 in order to test Einstein’s theory of relativity under extreme gravity. This requires the highest angular resolution, which can only be achieved by linking this antenna with others already in place to form a telescope almost the size of the Earth. We are therefore developing plans to install this antenna at the peak of the Greenland ice-sheet. This location will produce an equivalent North-South separation of almost 9,000 km when linked to the ALMA telescope in Northern Chile, and an East-West separation of about 6,000 km when linked to SAO and ASIAA’s Submillimeter Array on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, and will provide an angular resolution almost 1000 times higher than that of the most powerful optical telescopes. Given the quality of the atmosphere at the proposed telescope location, we also plan to make observations in the atmospheric windows at 1.3 and 1.5 THz. We will present plans to retrofit the telescope for cold-weather operation, and discuss potential instrumentation and projected time-line.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 2012
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 84441N (17 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.927459
Show Author Affiliations
Paul Grimes, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Raymond Blundell, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8444:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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