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The Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) Telescope is a 4.1 meter aperture telescope designed to work from the atmospheric cut-off in the blue (320 nm) to the near infrared, to have excellent image quality (0.22 arcseconds), fast slewing and to have up to nine instruments mounted ready for use. It was funded by a a partnership between the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), the Ministério da Ciencia e Tecnologia of the Federal Republic of Brazil (MCT), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and Michigan State University (MSU).
SOAR is situated on Cerro Pachón - IV Region - Chile, at an altitude of 2,700 meters (8,775 feet) above sea level.
SOAR is unique among other 4m-class telescopes in two major aspects:
1) It can switch between different instruments in just a few minutes
2) The majority of the observations are carried out remotely, which enables scientists to carry out synoptic programs that would otherwise be impossible to schedule in other telescopes.