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Millimeter & Submillimeter Astronomy Group at the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie

APEX - The "Atacama Pathfinder Experiment"

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An international collaboration lead by the Millimeter and Submillimeter astronomy group at the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (MPIfR) is currently erecting a 12-meter radio telescope at the best accessible site for submillimeter observations, Llano de Chajnantor in Chile's Atacama desert. The "Atacama Pathfinder Experiment" (APEX) will:

  • pursue submillimeter radio astronomy projects that are timely in view of rapid advances particularly in studies of the high-redshift (early) Universe and of star formation processes,
  • study the southern celestial hemisphere at sub-millimeter wavelengths, a spectral range where it is almost unexplored and
  • serve as a pathfinder for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) by performing wide-field observations for later ALMA followup studies.

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Onsala Space Observatory (OSO) have agreed with the MPIfR to share APEX funding and observing time, with 10% of the observing time set aside for Chilean astronomers.

Further Information


Friedrich Wyrowski


Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie
Auf dem Hügel 69
53121 Bonn, Germany
Fon: +49-(0)228-525-391
Fax: +49-(0)228-525-435

Fig. 1: APEX on Chajnantor seen from the front, August 2003

Fig. 2: APEX on Chajnantor seen from the back, August 2003
28 March 2011