Huge radio telescope in B.C. to help map quarter of observable universe

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      It's not much more than a dirt pit right now, but Canada’s largest radio telescope is expected to help scientists understand how dark energy is driving the accelerating expansion of the universe.

      Under construction in the heart of the Okanagan Valley wine country, the CHIME telescope will boast a footprint larger than six NHL hockey rinks when it's completed. Its 100-metre-by-100-metre collecting area and 2,560 low-noise receivers will be used to map a quarter of the observable universe. 

      The telescope is part of the $11-million Canadian Hydrogen Intensity-Mapping Experiment (which has something to do with the observation of "baryon acoustic oscillations [BAO] by mapping the three-dimensional distribution of neutral hydrogen gas in the universe inferred from redshifted 21-cm radiation"), and it's being installed at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory near Penticton.

      Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on one's point of view, it probably won't be open for you to test drive in the same manner as the pint-sized Gordon MacMillan Southam Observatory in Vancouver.



      Bruce Fales

      Jan 25, 2013 at 9:16am

      That pic of the globe of the heavens depicts 1/8 the of the sky not 1/4 th. ;)