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Arizona sets sights on $100M telescope project

PHOENIX — Arizona is home to telescopes at Kitt Peak south of Tucson and Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff and now northern Arizona is a finalist to be home for a 40- telescope array.

Meteor Crater and an area south of Seligman are potential sites for the $100 million Cherenkov Telescope Array project, said Jeff Hall, director of Lowell Observatory.

Mexico and the Canary Islands are also in the running.

Hall said the telescope array would trace some of the highest energy events in the universe.

“The conditions at the center of active galaxies and the structure of dark matter,” he said.

The final decision on the telescope project is expected by the first of the year, Hall said. “This array has been identified by the U.S. astronomy community as one of the priority projects for the next 10 years.”