Plateau de Bure Interferometer


Plateau de Bure Interferometer

Infobox Observatory
name = Plateau de Bure Interferometer


caption = Picture of several of Plateau de Bure Interferometer's antennas, with one of the rails for antenna displacement in the foreground.
organization = Institut de radioastronomie millimétrique
location = Plateau de Bure, Grenoble, France
coords = coord|44|38|02.0|N|05|54|28.5|E|type:landmark_source:website
altitude = 2,550 m (8366 ft)
weather =
established = 1988
closed =
website=http://www.iram.fr/IRAMFR/index.htm

The Plateau de Bure Interferometer is a six-antenna interferometer on the Plateau de Bure (2550m) in France, operated by the Institut de radioastronomie millimétrique. It is specifically designed for millimetre-wave observations. Plateau de Bure interferometer specialises in studies of line emission from molecular gas and radio continuum of cold dust. At an observing wavelength of 3 mm (100 GHz frequency) each of these telescopes can resolve two objects 45" apart from each other on the sky. In an interferometer, these 45" are actually the size of the field of view. So an interferometer like this one images, at very high resolution (better than 1") structures smaller than 45". What does this tell us? Although for collecting a lot of radiation as quickly as possible it is desirable to have large telescopes, in the case of interferometers this can also be a disadvantage, because their field of view will be small. For observing more extended objects on the sky, one would want to have smaller individual telescopes providing a larger field of view, but many more so as to have the same telescope surface area as fewer large dishes.

See also

* List of radio telescopes
* List of observatories
* CARMA another millimeter-wave array operated by a consortium including Caltech, University of California Berkeley, University of Illinois, University of Maryland and University of Chicago.
* Atacama Large Millimeter Array, a large array in the (sub)millimetre range currently under construction.


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