Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/13/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Atacama Lartge Milimeter Array switches on today.

Although it's called a telescope array, a vast network of radio dishes in the Atacama desert of Chile, is perhaps more of a time machine than anything else. The array is being switched on today and will become the world's most powerful telescope, ten times better than the Hubble.

Some of the dishes of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array.

Some of the dishes of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/13/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Atacama, Large Millimeter Array,


ATACAMA, CHILE (Catholic Online) - In the high, thin desert air, workers on the array need oxygen tanks to survive. At 16,400 feet, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) is the highest telescope in the world, situated above many of the clouds that would otherwise obscure viewing.

The telescope however, if not of the traditional variety, it isn't an optical instrument with lenses and mirrors. Instead, this telescope, or more properly, array, is a collection of satellite dishes that work in concert to produce ultra-sharp images of distant objects.

Radio telescopes are extremely sensitive and can detect even minute variations in radiation from space.
They can detect radio waves, which are not obscured by clouds of interstellar dust which gives them a tremendous advantage over optical scopes. They can literally see through interstellar clouds.

More importantly, they can see through time itself.

To understand this, consider the sun. Light travels at a finite speed, about 186,000 miles per second. At that speed, it takes light from the sun 8 minutes to reach Earth. Therefore, the sun is eight light minutes away from Earth. Radio telescopes can see much farther than our eyes. In fact, an ultra-sensitive array such as the ALMA an see close to the edge of the observable universe more than 13 billion light years distant.

At that distance, it takes light 13 billion years for light from there to reach our Earth, so when we view these very distant regions of space, we see them as they were 13 billion years ago. In that sense, astronomers are able to travel in time to see what the universe was like just after the moment of creation.

There is a point beyond which we cannot observe, so there will never be a direct observation of the big bang itself, nor of the moments immediately following it. However, scientists can see primordial stars igniting with nuclear fusion and galaxies in the earliest stages of formation. In fact, the oldest object currently observed is a galaxy forming about 600 million years following the big bang.

The new telescope will hopefully see even farther in time and reveal yet older objects. What it finds will either confirm, or challenge accepted notions of how the universe was formed.

In addition to peering to the very edge of space and time, the array will also be used to study nearby solar systems, to detect planets and possibly signs of life in the cosmos.

The telescope becomes operational today and will be made larger over the months to come until construction is complete.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Technology

EARTH'S TWIN: Kepler 452b heralded as the most similar planet to Earth yet discovered Watch

Image of While Kepler-452b is larger than Earth, it's 385-day orbit is only five percent longer. Furthermore, the planet is five percent farther from its parent star Kepler-452 than Earth is from the sun.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kepler-452b has astronomers calling the planet "the closest twin to Earth" they have yet seen. The planet is the smallest world found orbiting in the habitable zone of a star. Kepler-452b orbits its star at approximately the same distance that Earth orbits the ... continue reading


Solar system similar to ours discovered by astronomers Watch

Image of Researchers believe the ideal habitable exoplanet would reside in a solar system that mirrors ours. A

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an new astronomical study on the search for "solar system 2.0" - a solar system that is similar to our own, and therefore more likely of sustaining life, scientists have made an exciting new discovery. Such a solar system exists, some 200 light years away, and ... continue reading


'Bee Hive' Skyscraper cities: The future for overpopulated areas Watch

Image of Bee Hive skyscraper cities are expected to put a halt to urbanization in the future.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The future of urban living is about to change with the conceptualization of "Bee Hive" skyscrapers set up to house communities in urban areas. An entire city within a single skyscraper is the futuristic solution to population density problems in the major cities of the ... continue reading


PLAYING GOD?: High-quality artificial sperm manufactured by Chinese scientists for the first time Watch

Image of They don't have tails and can't swim. The new artificial sperm - created for the first time by Chinese scientists, look more like eggs than natural sperm.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They don't have tails and can't swim. The new artificial sperm - created for the first time by Chinese scientists, look more like eggs than natural sperm. However, they can still fertilize an egg and pass on genetic information to potential offspring. LOS ... continue reading


Candles for your Mobile Phones: Flame used to produce electricity can charge your mobile phones Watch

Image of The Candle Charger can generate electricity to charge your mobile phones.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Technology now provides a solution to untimely blackouts; mobile phones can now be charged even in the event of a power failure through the Candle Charger. With the heat produced by a candle, mobile devices can be charged and one can stay connected without ... continue reading


Smartphones getting smarter: Can your smartphone tell if you're depressed? Watch

Image of Your Smartphones can be a black box of your emotions. (Photo by: Jovo Jovanovic for Stocksy United)

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Changes in technology have greatly affected the advancement of society. It has also affected how we live our lives. Technological advances have started to seclude human beings from real life experiences that they should be facing on a daily basis. Recent studies ... continue reading


They're watching your every move: What are Smart Cities? Watch

Image of Beijing [not pictured] is one of the cities believed to be eying the development of Smart Cities.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Billions of people are being confronted by different governments around the world to create "smart cities." These "smart cities" are urban areas that are covered with internet-connected devices that will, not only be a means of communication, but also control the ... continue reading


Russian court blocks atheist social networking site for insulting religious believers Watch

Image of Russian Orthodox Christian during a Feast Day.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Russian atheist social networking site has been blocked by court ruling. It was reported that the networking site insulted the sensibilities of many religious believers. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The Russian social networking page, called "There is ... continue reading


More 'monster black holes' than thought to have existed discovered by astronomers Watch

Image of Led by British-based scientists, the discovery suggests there may be millions more

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are a lot more massive black holes than were previously thought to have existed. Advances in astronomical technology have now found these mysterious heavenly bodies at the center of at least five galaxies. It is a mathematical fact that many more of these ... continue reading


Super Soldier - The Future of War: U.S. Military tests high tech devices for war Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Science fiction seems to be not far from reality nowadays, as technology begins building amazing things, even the ability of super powers. The U.S. Military, for example, has been in pursuit of technology that allows them to protect soldier lives, while getting the job ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 32:15-24, 30-34
15 Moses turned and came down the mountain with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 106:19-20, 21-22, 23
19 At Horeb they made a calf, bowed low before cast ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:31-35
31 He put another parable before them, 'The kingdom ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 27th, 2015 Image

St. Pantaleon
July 27: St Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter