Radio Telescope iNANTEN2j
For radio observations, a high-precision parabolic dish antenna and a high-sensitivity receiver are essential. NANTEN's receiver utilizes superconductor technology and is one of the best of its kind in the world. We are firm believers in the principle that its best to design your own instruments, and the receiver was developed in-house at Nagoya University's own instrumentation lab. In fact, most of the telescope parts were designed and built by staff and students of Nagoya University, before being shipped to Chile, for installation on the telescope.
The NANTEN telescope has spent a productive 8 years observing millimeter waves at Chile's Las Campanas Observatory. Now its next target will be the sub-mm universe.
Sub-mm waves have wavelengths of between 300 and 1000 microns (0.3-1.0mm) and are the shortest wavelength radio band. But they are strongly absorbed by the water vapor in the Earth's atmosphere, making observing them something of a challenge. In recent years, the Atacama plateau, in Northern Chile, has been drawing the attention of astronomers all over the world. Its desolate landscape is reminiscent of the surface of the moon, but its extreme altitude (4800m above sea level), thin air and dry climate make it an ideal site for sub-mm astronomy. Keen to take advantage of this, the telescope was upgraded to sub-mm level precision, and relocated to Atacama. Here, NANTEN became the new and improved NANTEN2.
With NANTEN2 we are able to see warm gas clouds that had been invisible to the old telescope, taking us a big step closer to an understanding of star formation, the violent activity of supernova remnants, and also shedding light on the activity at the Galactic center.
By late 2004, the move to Atacama had been successfully completed, and on the 25th of November the NANTEN2 opening ceremony was held. The first radio waves were received from space on the 10th of October the next year, and the sub-mm observation program has now been running smoothly for some time.
¨ About the NANTEN radio observatory logo design
¨ NANTEN radio observatory pamphlet (Japanese, PDFj
¨ NANTEN radio observatory pamphlet (English, PDF)
¨ The Milky Way as seen by NANTEN (Japanese, PDF)
¨ The plan to transfer NANTEN to Atacama (Japanese, PDF)
¨ From the 4m radio observatory to NANTEN and NANTEN2 (The story of NANTENj