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Blanco Telescope silhouetted against night sky


Blanco Telescope silhouetted against the Magellanic Clouds (at left) and the Milky Way

The Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory's (CTIO) 4-meter Blanco Telescope is a silhouette against the Magellanic Clouds (at left) and the Milky Way, as seen from Cerro Tololo, Chile.

More about this image
CTIO provides qualified scientists with telescopes and related facilities for astronomical research in the Southern Hemisphere. CTIO has offices, labs and living quarters in the coastal city of La Serena, 482-kilometers north of Santiago. The observing facilities are on Cerro Tololo, a 2,194-meter mountain on the western slopes of the Andes Mountains, 64-kilometers inland from La Serena.

CTIO operates the Blanco Telescope, which is a near twin to the 4-meter Mayall Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), and a general purpose 1.5-meter reflector. These telescopes are equipped with instruments similar to those at KPNO. Several other telescopes operated by U.S. universities are also located on Cerro Tololo. A new technology 4-meter telescope (the Southern Observatory for Astrophysical Research, or SOAR) is under construction on nearby Cerro Pachon. CTIO is one of several observatories that make up the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO), a national center for research in ground-based optical and infrared astronomy, supported by the National Science Foundation.

Credit: Roger Smith/NOAO/AURA/NSF

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