Noema, the most powerful radiotelescope in the northern hemisphere, reaches its final stage


The first construction phase of Noema, the most powerful radiotelescope in the northern hemisphere, is due to be completed on 19 September. Ten 15-metre diameter antennae are now operational at the Plateau de Bure, in the French Alps. The second phase of the project, designed by the Iram1 and jointly financed by the CNRS, will be finalised in 2021, in particular with the launch of the last two antennae. Noema makes it possible to explore the cold Universe at temperatures very close to absolute zero (i.e. – 273,5°C), revealing celestial bodies hidden by interstellar dust clouds and impossible to observe using optical instruments. It will be part of the « Event Horizon Telescope » global network, a series of several telescopes located across four continents and making up a virtual worldwide telescope aimed at producing the first-ever image of the black hole at the centre of our galaxy.


To find out more :

Iram :

Virtual tour of the Noema observatory:


9 antennas of Noema
The Noema observatory at the Plateau de Bure in the French Alps.
© DiVertiCimes/IRAM


  • 1. Institut de radioastronomie millimétrique, founded in 1979 by the Max-Planck Society (Germany) and the CNRS (France), with the Spanish Instituto Geográfico Nacional becoming a third partner in 1990.


Frédéric Gueth
CNRS researcher
Julie Desriac
Press officer