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Paper: The Large Millimeter Telescope and Solar Like Stars
Volume: 472, New Quests in Stellar Astrophysics III: A Panchromatic View of Solar-like Stars, With and Without Planets
Page: 279
Authors: Chavez, M.; Hughes, D.; LMT Project Team
Abstract: This paper describes the current status of the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT), the near-term plans for the telescope and the initial suite of instrumentation. It also briefly describes two astronomical branches in which the LMT will certainly have a major impact: the study of thermal emission of circumstellar material around main sequence stars and the analysis of the molecular contents of this material in relatively young stars. The LMT is a bi-national collaboration between Mexico and the USA, led by the Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Optica y Electrónica (INAOE) and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, to construct, commission and operate a 50m-diameter millimeter-wave radio telescope. Construction of the telescope structure is complete at the 4600 m LMT site on the summit of Volcán Sierra Negra, an extinct volcano in the Mexican state of Puebla. First-light with the LMT was successfully conducted in June and July 2011 with observations at both 3 and 1.1 mm. The commissioning and future scientific operation of the LMT is divided into two major phases. As part of phase I, following the improvement in the alignment of the surface segments within the inner 32 meter diameter of the antenna, the project will begin the first shared risk scientific observations in the spring of 2013. In phase II, we will continue the installation and alignment of the remainder of the reflector surface, after which the final commissioning of the full 50m LMT will take place. The LMT antenna, outfitted with its initial complement of scientific instruments, will be a world-leading scientific research facility for millimeter-wave astronomy.
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