UA observatory to cooperate on Magellan project

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The UA's Steward Observatory, Carnegie Institution and Harvard College Observatory announced plans yesterday to jointly operate the Magellan Telescope Project.

The institutions will work together to build two 6.5 meter optical/infrared telescopes at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.

The University of Arizona and Harvard have previously collaborated on a telescope site at Mt. Hopkins, Arizona. This new agreement marks the first time that the two will be collaborating in South America.

Peter Strittmatter, the head of the UA astronomy department and director of the Steward Observatory, said the Magellan Project "represents a splendid opportunity for the UA to continue working on cutting-edge astronomical technology and providing our students and faculty with the opportunity to participate in this valuable research."

The sites for the Magellan telescopes are atop Manqui ridge at the Carnegie Institution's Las Campanas Observatory. Administrative offices for the 2,400-meter-high observatory are 160 kilometers away at La Serena, Chile.

The Magellan I telescope is slated to be operational in 1998. The work on the Magellan II telescope is yet to be completed.

Maxine Singer, the president of the Carnegie Institution, said that the group is "well on the way to building ... the second Magellan telescope. We hope that our conversations with our potential partners will lead to an agreement to proceed with Magellan II soon."

UA News Services Contributed to this story.

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