Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Astronomers map the hidden Universe

13.05.2003


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:
http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Pulses of electrons manipulate nanomagnets and store information
21.07.2017 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion
21.07.2017 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

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: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>