The Centro Astronómico Macón (CAM) is a project of of the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Astronomy and the Astronomical Observatory of Córdoba, it is located in the Puna salteña, at 4,650 meters above sea level. There, scientists from IATE, and the OAC, studied the conditions and the quality of the sky between 2003 and 2009.
The IATE is building an astronomical complex on the Cordón Macón, located at 10 km from the town of Tolar Grande, Salta, Argentina. The site is located at latitude 24.61 South and longitude 67.32 West and at an altitude of 4,650 meters. The location has ideal conditions of humidity and air turbulence, which create almost perfect astronomical seeing. The site infrastructure will enable the development of several observational projects:
- ABRAS: The Argentina-Brasil Astronomical Center is a project involving both Latin-American countries. The main institutions behind the project are the IATE, from Argentina, and the IAG (Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciencias Atmosféricas), from Sao Paulo, Brasil, while the funding institutions are the Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva and the University of Sao Paulo (Universidade de Sao Paulo, USP). The project involves the installation of an astronomical observational facility in the Cordón Macón. The 1 meter telescope will be installed in an 8-meter diameter dome. The building and the installation of the dome was performed during 2011-2012, while the 1 meter telescope arrived to Córdoba (Argentina) during October 2015. One of the main goals of the project is to optimize the telescope for performing astronomical observations in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The first observations with this telescope is expected to be perform for the year 2016.
- TOROS: The Transient Optical Robotic Observatory of the South (TOROS) project is a collaboration among scientists from The University of Texas at Brownsville, the Universidad Nacional de Cordoba (UNC), CALTECH and Texas A&M University. The project intend to construct a dedicated optical follow-up instrument for Advanced LIGO (aLIGO) and Advanced Virgo (AdVirgo) in order to surveying the sky for even very dim afterglows of gravitational waves events. The project also pursuit the aim of detecting nearby supernovas. The first workshop of the TOROS collaboration was held in the city of Salta, Argentina, in June, 2013.
- ISON: The International Scientific Optical Network (ISON) program is an international effort that intend to understand and catalogue the space debris population in the near-Earth space and of potentially hazardous Near Earth Objects (NEOs). In order to contribute to this program, the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics (KIAM) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), of the Russian Federation, will work together with the Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE), the IATE, the Observatorio Astronómico de Córdoba (OAC) and the Goberment of the Provincia de Salta in Argentina, to install and operate two small telescopes of 20 and 25 cm of diameter, that will be operated remotely via Internet connection. The aim of this cooperation is to perform observations of orbital debris, asteroids, comets and optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts.