The US Naval Observatory has had PlaneWave Instruments install a PlaneWave 1-Meter telescope (CDK1000) high atop the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. The high elevation and stable atmospheric conditions make Chile the perfect location for large aperture research telescopes.
The US Naval Observatory funded install took 10 hours from the crane-lift until capturing first-light images. The video offered below was filmed and produced by PlaneWave’s Technical Service Manager, Matt Dieterich.
As an interesting side note, Dieterich used a Nikon D850 and D750 to capture the night sky time lapses using 8 second photos. The wide-angle lens was the Nikon 14mm and the tighter crop was a Rokinon 24mm.
The Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) is a complex of astronomical telescopes and instruments located at 30.169 S, 70.804 W, approximately 80 km to the East of La Serena, Chile, at an altitude of 2200 meters (7200 feet elevation).
The complex is part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) along with Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) in Tucson, Arizona. The principal telescopes are the 4-m Victor M. Blanco Telescope and the 4.1-m Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope, dedicated in April of 2004.
The NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), which also operates the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Gemini Observatory. One of the two 8-m telescopes comprising the Gemini Observatory is co-located with CTIO on AURA property in Chile. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is the funding agency for NOAO. The Observatory headquarters are located in La Serena, Chile, about 300 miles north of Santiago.
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