Field of Science

Listening to the Universe

The enigmatic people at VBS TV just posted a piece on LOFAR, a next generation radio telescope (my own research is on a very similar radio telescope, the MWA, which I will discuss another day). Mother Board, the technology focused side of VBS even has a radio astronomy portal. Radio astronomy has never seemed so cool:
For the longest time, astronomy centered around what could be observed with our most wonderful and yet meager visual tool, the eye. But in the last fifty years, the ability to gaze up into space using radio waves, infrared and ultraviolet radiation and X- and gamma rays have provided new and completely unexpected information about the nature and history of the Universe, yielding a cosmic zoo of strange and exotic objects. But we have yet to properly explore the low radio frequencies, the lowest energy extreme of the spectrum accessible from the Earth. (Astronomers don’t actually listen to the signals, but convert them into data and images.)

With more “resolution” than any other telescope, the 1500 km-wide LOFAR array will open this frontier to a broad range of astrophysical studies, including transient sources, ultra high energy cosmic rays, cosmic magnetism, and the Epoch of Reionization. [more from Mother Board, Listening to the Universe]

I want to give one more shout out to the strange and amazing VBS TV. It is a news source which I have heard described as '60 Minutes meets Jackass' which is a powerful combination whether your watching Shane Smith in the Vice Guide to North Korea or anything from the expansive Vice Guide to Everything so please check it out.

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