Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades - Gobierno de España

Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities

IRAM 30m Radio telescope (IRAM 30m)

This 30m radio telescope is one of the two observatories of the IRAM. This institute is a collaboration between the French CNRS, the German MPG and the IGN.

Uilt in only four years (1980-1984) at an altitude of 2,850 meters at Pico Veleta (Sierra Nevada, Granada), it is currently one of the largest and most sensitive millimetre-wave radio telescopes in the world.

Main Characteristics

The telescope itself is a classic parabolic antenna that enables the exploration of extensive cosmic objects such as near galaxies and interstellar clouds. Thanks to its large collecting surface, the 30 m telescope is unrivalled in sensitivity and has been very well adapted to detect weak astronomical sources. The panels of its parabola are calibrated with a precision of 55 micrometres in relation to an ideal paraboloid. The radio telescope is equipped with a series of receptors that operate at wavelengths of around 3, 2, 1, and 0.8 mm, simultaneously recording up to 160,000 channels of a high-resolution frequency, for the mapping of molecular gas in extensive nebulas. The telescope is also equipped with two cameras that operate at wavelengths of 2 and 1mm, devoted to the observation of the emission of dust in near molecular clouds and in galaxies, including the farthest (and youngest) galaxies in the known universe.


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