Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Astronomers map the hidden Universe


Astronomers from Cardiff University are completing the first survey ever for cosmic hydrogen, the primeval gas which emerged from the Big Bang to form all the stars and galaxies we can see today.

Since 1997 the astronomers, with their Australian colleagues, have been using two giant radio telescopes, the 64-metre diameter dish at Parkes in New South Wales, Australia, and the 76-metre dish at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, England to build up an atlas of the heavens as mapped by cosmic hydrogen.

The survey is fundamental for two entirely different reasons. First of all the night sky, in cosmic terms, is quite bright so that structures dimmer than the sky will be invisible to optical telescopes - but not to the radio. Thus parts of the ’Invisible Universe’ should come to light for the first time - and they do.

Secondly, finding the gas left behind when the galaxies formed should help decode the evolution of the Universe as it expands. For instance the team finds, for the very first time, infantile galaxies still apparently commingling out of pristine gas.

So many exciting and surprising discoveries are emerging from the survey that Professor Mike Disney and his team find themselves constantly dashing around the globe to follow them up with other telescopes in Australia, New Mexico, Holland, Chile, the Canaries and South Africa, to say nothing of the Hubble Space Telescope.

"We are racing against time, against man-made radio-interference which will soon blind us to much of the cosmos for ever," said Professor Disney.

"We feel very privileged," he added. "We are like the early navigators glimpsing new continents for the first time. There are surprises and inevitably we only understand a fraction of what we encounter. The real challenge is to distinguish what is actually there from what we wanted to find. But none amongst us would wish to be anywhere else."

Members of Professor Disney’s team include Hugh Lang (engineer), Dr Robert Minchin and Dr Erwin de Blok, Diege Garcia and Marco Grossi (PhD students) and Thomas Targett (undergraduate student).

Dr Robert Minchin | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht First results of NSTX-U research operations
26.10.2016 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

nachricht Scientists discover particles similar to Majorana fermions
25.10.2016 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

First results of NSTX-U research operations

26.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

UCI and NASA document accelerated glacier melting in West Antarctica

26.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>