Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope (SOAR)

Updated on June 6, 2021, 8:19 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 far from north, is the Gemini South Observatory, close enough to access Gemini instruments and its mirror-coating facility. 

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).