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.
Dr Robert Minchin | EurekAlert!
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