New telescope like a time machine: scientist

700_0b986855761907d5c51fadfe9e0f9dabConstruction has begun on a new radio telescope in British Columbia’s south Okanagan that will act like a type of time machine and help astrophysicists travel back to better understand the composition of our expanding universe.

The $11-million project is being built at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory southwest of Penticton, B.C., and will use components from the cellphone industry to capture and turn radio waves emitted six to 11 billion years ago into a three-dimensional map.

It’s the first research telescope built in Canada in more than three decades and includes scientists from the observatory, the University of British Columbia, McGill University and the University of Toronto.

“It’s almost like time travel,” said Kris Sigurdson, an astrophysicist from UBC and co-investigator on the project. “It’s looking back into the past and how the universe was at that time and it’s just amazing.”

According to a UBC media release, the project is known as the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity-Mapping Experiment and will eventually boast a 100-metre-by-100-metre collecting area filled with 2,560 low-noise receivers built from components adapted from the cellphone industry.

Mark Halpern, an astrophysicist from UBC who is also the project’s principal investigator, said a NASA project known as the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) found the universe has expanded by a factor of 1,000 in every direction since the light we currently see was given off.

( via )