Sunday, July 17, 2016

New Telescope Reveals 1,300 Galaxies in Tiny Corner of the Universe

By Douglas V. Gibbs
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Science first emerged because humanity sought to learn more about the universe God has given us to live in.  Our planet is but a grain of sand on a nearly endless beach.  With the Hubble Telescope we finally began to see how small we truly are.  Now, only operating at a quarter of its eventual capacity, South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope showed off its phenomenal power Saturday, revealing 1,300 galaxies in a tiny corner of the universe where only 70 were known before.

The image released Saturday was the first from MeerKAT, where 16 dishes were formally commissioned the same day.

Next year the MeerKAT's will have its full contingent of 64 receptors integrated, making it destined to become the world's most powerful radio telescope.

Scientists are raving at the clarity and quality of the images produced by MeerKAT, proclaiming the images to be "far better that we could have expected."

As it is today, only one quarter of what it will become, it is already the best radio telescope in the southern hemisphere.

The full throttle running of the telescope will not be achieved when its 64 dishes are in place next year.  More dishes, hardware and software needs to be added, and its full capabilities will be achieved in the 2020s, comprising of 3,000 dishes spread over an area of a square kilometre (0.4 square miles) across remote terrain around several countries to allow astronomers to peer deeper into space in unparallelled detail.

It will have a discovery potential 10,000 times greater than the most advanced modern instruments and will explore exploding stars, black holes, dark energy and traces of the universe's origins some 14 billion years ago.

A second device will be operating soon in Australia.

200 scientists from around the world worked together to bring into existence the MeerKAT.

South African Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor told AFP that "this the first time that an African group of countries will host global science infrastructure of this character."

"It's a first for us as Africa and also it's a first for the world because the world hasn't done this in Africa," said the Minister. "We are building a global infrastructure for the world."

Already some 500 scientific groups from 45 countries have booked slots to use the MeerKAT array between next year and 2022.

Combined with the efforts of the CERN particle accelerator in Switzerland, science is working to do the opposite of what it emerged regarding.  Rather than study God's universe, these scientists likely seek to disprove God. . . I have a feeling the opposite will happen, as it often does.

Personally, I am a bit of a science geek, and I am enjoying the innovation we are seeing, and the leaps and bounds of technology. . . I just hope we make sure we restrain ourselves in how we use what we learn.

Darkness always first reveals itself as an angel of light.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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