The Southern Astrophysical Research or SOAR telescope sits high atop a mountain in Chile, but Professors of Astronomy at Michigan State University say it'll soon be one of their most beneficial research tools.
The university has been working with three other organizations for a decade now to get the project going. The telescope is now fully constructed in Chile. A remote observation room, located inside of the Biomedical and Physical Sciences building on MSU's campus, allows students and professors the ability to use the telescope for their own viewing. The room and the telescope were unveiled to the public Saturday.
Wolfgang Bauer, Department Chair, says the telescope will put MSU into a new league as far as research and astronomy are concerned. Timothy Beers, Professor of Astronomy, says it's a very visible sign of big science in action, probably the most visible sign on campus.
MSU contributed $6 million to the construction of the telescope and will receive 40 nights of viewing per year. The information collected will be used to study the early history of the universe and supernova events.