Title

The Large Millimeter Telescope El Gran Telescopio Milimetrico: A new instrument for astrobiology

Publication Date

2003

Journal or Book Title

ORIGINS OF LIFE AND EVOLUTION OF BIOSPHERES

Abstract

The Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica in Mexico and the University of Massachusetts in the U.S.A. are collaborating to build the world's largest radio telescope that operates at short millimeter wavelengths. This facility, known as the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) or el Gran Telescopio Milimétrico (GTM), is being sited at an altitudeof 4600 m on Volcan Sierra Negra in the Mexican state of Puebla. The telescope will be a fully steerable dish with a diameter of 50 m and a surface consisting of 180 panels that are actively adjusted under computer control to correct for deformations due to gravity and temperature gradients. Instruments will include focal plane arrays to image both continuum and spectral line emission from celestial sources. The LMT/GTM will be an extremelypowerful facility for studies encompassing almost all areas of astronomy, including astrobiology. In particular, the high sensitivity, angular resolution, and mapping speed will enable detailed investigations of the organic chemistry of interstellarmolecular clouds, protoplanetary disks, and comets.

Comments

The published version is located at http://www.springerlink.com/content/u104408415587l00/

Volume

33

Pages

597-607

Issue

6

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