Astronomy Projects

Projects at MIT Haystack Observatory—while diverse—have a common denominator: they use or field astronomical instruments at the cutting edge of technology in order to address astrophysical research questions that cannot be tackled otherwise. Astronomical research projects and instrumentation development thus proceed hand-in-hand at Haystack. Many projects involve the creation and operation of interferometers.
The black hole M87

Event Horizon Telescope

The Event Horizon Telescope is obtaining images of nearby supermassive black holes with ultra-high angular resolution to see down to the scale of the event horizon.


LEGO studies star-forming sites in the Milky Way in order to better understand similar regions in nearby galaxies. It uses the most comprehensive wide-field atlas of molecules in space to do so.

APP: ALMA Phasing Project

Developing very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) capabilities for the ALMA Observatory in Chile


The goal of EDGES is to detect hydrogen signatures generated during the period of the formation of the first stars and galaxies.

Haystack Observatory Post-Processing System (HOPS)

The iconic HOPS software package supports the analysis of geodetic and astronomical VLBI correlations.

Mark 6 VLBI data recording system

The Mark 6 VLBI data recording system is used by the VLBI community to record data onto hard disk drives at the high data rates—up to 16Gbps—required by cutting-edge applications such as the EHT and VGOS.

Interferometric imaging algorithms

Imaging is a key process in radio interferometry that turns data into astronomical images. Haystack has developed imaging algorithms for the Event Horizon Telescope and other interferometric arrays.

Radio Stars

All stars emit radio waves. The study of stellar radio emission provides unique insights into the lives of stars that cannot be obtained by observations at other wavelengths.

SRT: Small Radio Telescope

The Small Radio Telescope (SRT) was developed by Haystack Observatory to serve as an educational tool for universities and colleges for teaching astronomy and radio technology.

RAPID: Radio Array of Portable Interferometric Detectors

Advanced radio array designed for geospace and astronomy. The system implements a sparse and spatially diverse radio array technology to enable a wide range of scientific experiments.