View Full Version : Atacama Cosmology Telescope

2006-May-08, 05:49 PM
AMEC, the international project management and engineering company, is near completion of one of the world’s most sophisticated and sensitive telescopes. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) will look back in time to study how the universe has evolved since the ‘Big Bang’.

Testing of the telescope will occur throughout May in Canada; once successfully completed, ACT will be shipped to the Atacama Desert region in Chile.

Designed to scan a patch of sky millions of times, ACT will detect faint microwaves and then provide a series of images that will be used to show how the structure of the universe has evolved. As more distant microwaves are detected, researchers are able to, in effect, peer back in time.


2006-May-08, 06:28 PM
Expand (http://static.flickr.com/53/142901827_9cd3a5611d_o.jpg) (45kb, 560 x 320)
Position: latitude: -22.958909° longitude: -67.771617°

This site is at an elevation of 5200 m on the side of Cerro Toco in Northern Chile. It is 35 km east of San Pedro de Atacama.

2006-May-22, 05:22 AM
Alright i've read a few articles about this very sophisticated telescope and everyone of them says that this telescope will 'look back in time', but upon looking at the articles and thinking about it, this device would just show you how everything is today, and with our own eyes we see what it used to be. If someone could explain to me exactly how this works please do. Whatever you do, DO NOT assume it is too complicated for me to comprhend. If you can't explain it just say so.

2006-May-22, 11:55 AM
The telescope will capture microwaves from billions of light years away.

(i you think about that statement - that light take billions of light years to get here - so when it is captured `now`, then yeah the captured light exists in the present time but the `information` it carries is recorded from billions of years ago. A bit like when you look at a photograph yourself when you were young - you are looking at information recorded a long time ago - you are 'looking back in time',).

Yes, the telescope will eventually show you how everything is today - but you'll have to wait a few billion years for that information to arrive here.

2006-Aug-28, 10:37 AM
Title: The Atacama Cosmology Telescope Project: A Progress Report
Authors: Arthur Kosowsky (University of Pittsburgh), for the ACT Collaboration

The Atacama Cosmology Telescope is a project to map the microwave background radiation at arcminute angular resolution and high sensitivity in three frequency bands over substantial sky areas. Cosmological signals driving such an experiment are reviewed, and current progress in hardware construction is summarised. Complementary astronomical observations in other wavebands are also discussed.

Read more (http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/pdf/0608/0608549.pdf) (205kb, PDF)

Read more (http://www.physics.princeton.edu/act)

2006-Aug-28, 12:20 PM
Nice paper. I am interested in the cosmological things that the SKA will be telling us, and the ACT will be giving us some tantalizing hints a couple decades earlier.