Canada scientists could soon be able to unravel some of the universe’s greatest mysteries with the help of massive new ‘half-pipe’ radio telescope. The pipe line is dubbed in the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (Chime).
The telescope is capable of containing four 100-meter-long (328 foot) U-shaped cylinders, allowing it to detect signals from when the universe was between 6 and 11 billion years old.
This week the final piece has been installed by Researchers, moving a step further to creating a 3D map of the universe, to explore dark energy and the mysterious fast radio bursts coming from distant galaxies.
With the Chime telescope we will measure the expansion history of the universe and we expect to further our understanding of the mysterious dark energy that drives the expansion ever faster,’ said Dr Mark Halpern, of the University of British Columbia.
‘This is a fundamental part of physics that we don’t understand and it’s a deep mystery.
'This is about better understanding how the universe began and what lies ahead.’
The Chime telescope costs $16 million and is placed in the mountains of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley at the NRC’s Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory near Penticton. It is made of metal mesh, it resembles the half-pipes used by snowboarders and skateboarders.
It has a unique design , coupled with advanced computing power, will serve as a ‘time machine’ to peer deep into the history of the universe.
This could help scientists to better understand the history of the universe, mysterious fast radio bursts, and the detection of gravitational waves.
‘The origin of these bizarre extragalactic events is presently a mystery, with only two dozen reported since their discovery a decade ago.
‘Chime is likely to detect many of these objects every day, providing a massive treasure trove of data that will put Canada at the forefront of this research.’
According to the researchers, it is similar to that used by cell phones, allowing the telescope to pick up on extremely weak radio signals from the universe.
Most of these signals come from the Milky Way, but, some began their journey billions of years ago.
The telescope will receive a massive amount of data, with a rate equivalent to all the data in the world’s mobile network.
And, seven quadrillion computer operations will occur every second.
‘Chime “sees” in a fundamentally different way from other telescopes,’ Dr Keith Vanderlinde, University of Toronto.
‘A massive supercomputer is used to process incoming radio light and digitally piece together and image of the radio sky.
‘All that computing power also lets us do things that were previously impossible: we can look in many directions at once, run several experiments in parallel, and leverage the power of this new instrument in unprecedented ways.’