Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope (SOAR)

Updated on February 2, 2023, 10:15 am

The SOAR Project was initiated by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1987. The final project development team was formed at the beginning of 1997. Cerro Pachón is located 10 km southeast of CTIO (Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory) in the Chilean Andes. On the same mountain as SOAR, about 0.4 kilometers to the northwest, is the Gemini South telescope. The Vera C. Rubin Observatory is further along the Cerro Pachón ridge.

The SOAR Telescope is among the foremost research facilities available to astronomers in the southern hemisphere, producing the best image quality at wavelengths from optical to near-infrared, and at the same time offering both imaging and spectroscopic capabilities. 

SOAR is a joint project of the Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovações do Brasil (MCTI/LNA); NSF’s NOIRLab; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC); and Michigan State University (MSU). Chilean astronomers also have access to the telescope.

Prospective users of the telescope will find useful information on the Observing with SOAR pages on this website.