03 May 2024



AtLAST (Atacama Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope) is a concept for a next generation 50-metre single-dish observatory.



AtLAST (Atacama Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope) is a concept for an innovative next-generation astronomical observatory. Currently in the design and concept stage it will feature a 50-meter class single-dish telescope designed to operate at submillimetre and millimetre wavelengths. ​​Computer generated image​ of the proposed observatory.

This cutting-edge facility would be based in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile, it is expected to be powered by renewable energy and host a suite of state of the art instruments. 

Some of the key science drivers we're deriving for the telescope are studies of:

  • the gas and dust in the plane of our Galaxy so we can understand what drives its evolution
  • nearby galaxies and the circum-galactic medium that surrounds them
  • deep, multi-colour images of the early U​niverse.

The telescope hopes to cover all of these varied science cases while also keeping an eye out for transient objects and engaging with other observatories and projects to maximise each-other's science returns.

The UK ATC is a founding member of the AtLAST consortium and is working on engagement with the science community. This includes understanding the requirements and different kinds of science cases proposed for the observatory, alongside providing user tools, like sensitivity calculators, to help astronomers plan possible future observations. ​

Find out more.