Home » Discovering the new monumental telescopes on the Bure plateau

Discovering the new monumental telescopes on the Bure plateau

by archyde
Each dish is 15 meters in diameter and functions as the main mirror of a single large telescope. JEFF PACHOUD/AFP

REPORT – Inaugurated this week in the Hautes-Alpes, the Noema observatory is the most powerful in the northern hemisphere.

Special correspondent on the Bure plateau

At the end of a short ascent in a scree so steep that it takes the breath away and the legs, visitors discover a spectacular view. An immense rocky and inhospitable expanse, with a few rare clumps of yellowed grass resistant to high altitude, more than 2500 meters above sea level. In the middle of this high plateau emerge the silhouettes of ten parabolas pointing towards the sky, whose metal structures shine in the sun. “Here is the Noema observatory in its final configuration, at full capacity, ready for its official inauguration on September 30”, describes with pride Frédéric Gueth, researcher at the CNRS and deputy director of Iram (Institute of millimetric radioastronomy). “Finally, there should be twelve antennas, but you only see ten since two of them are undergoing maintenance in the large technical hall.”

For the scientist from Iram, a Franco-German-Spanish research organization…

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