The sky at (sub)mm wavelengths is a unique window for probing the architecture of the Universe and the structures within it. Observing at these wavelengths unlocks the ability to study the coldest components of the Universe, in particular the dense, dusty molecular clouds that provide the raw material for the formation and growth of new stars and planetary systems.
The cold molecular gas phase (and the cool dust associated with it) emits light in the (sub)mm bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, while remaining mostly invisible and obscured at any other wavelength. Furthermore, (sub)mm observations can probe the properties of star formation and of the interstellar and circumgalactic media (ISM and CGM, respectively) across all redshifts, from our own Milky Way, out to the first galaxies that formed in the Universe.
The AtLAST project aims to obtain a feasibility study and telescope design that take into account the technical, operational and environmental challenges of such infrastructure and are able to achieve the transformational science goals.
AtLAST team members have extensive experience in the field; building, commissioning, and observing with (sub)mm instrumentation, telescope operations management and working with atmospheric and climate models.