Home > Astronomy, Cosmology, General Astronomy > New Radio Telescope In SA Will Also Shed New Light On The Earliest Moments Of The Universe: C-BASS South Commissioning At Hartebeesthoek

New Radio Telescope In SA Will Also Shed New Light On The Earliest Moments Of The Universe: C-BASS South Commissioning At Hartebeesthoek


In the week that saw the release of the first results from the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite, astronomers at the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) near Johannesburg are working on a new radio telescope that will also shed new light on the very earliest moments of the universe.

The C-Band All-Sky Survey (C-BASS) is a project to map the sky in microwave (short-wavelength radio) radiation. Like Planck, it will survey the whole sky, mapping out how bright the sky is, and also the orientation of the waves (called polarization). While Planck observes very short wavelengths, C-BASS observes longer wavelengths that are actually easier to observe from the ground.

“Because we want to observe at these longer wavelengths, the C-BASS telescope has to be much bigger than the telescope on Planck,” explains South African C-BASS team member Charles Copley. “The C-BASS dish is over seven metres across – much too big to launch on a rocket.”

In order to observe the entire sky, C-BASS needs to use two different telescopes, one in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern hemisphere.

Full Story: http://www.ska.ac.za/releases/20130327.php

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