Within a year, the world’s current largest single-dish radio telescope, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, will lose its title. It will instead be usurped by this: the Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) in Pingtang County, China.
This awesome piece of scientific equipment is a South Pole Telescope detector wafer at Fermilab’s silicon detector facility. Those swirly figures on its surface that resemble a neotribal tattoo are tiny antennas. But what does the entire instrument do? Fermilab explains the rest:
Out in Manchester, a remarkably powerful, 3,200 ton radio telescope has sat atop a field for almost 60 years. But the story of how it got there—and how near it came, even mid-construction, to not being there—is a tale of an incredibly close scientific call.
Once it’s up and running, we expect the new Webb space telescope to send us back some pretty impressive space shots — but the photos of its construction have been unexpectedly delightful as well!
You know it's going to be a good night when a telescope fires a laser guide star straight into the heart of the Milky Way.
Inside Building 32 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas sits Chamber A, a marvel of engineering, cleanliness, and design. It’s also the closest you can come to being in space without strapping into a rocket.
Laser guide stars look undeniably badass, deathrays slicing through the celestial sphere. More importantly, astronomers use these artificial stars to compensate for atmospheric blurring in real-time, allowing ground-based telescopes to take crystal-clear images of the sky.
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array consists of 66 individual radio telescopes that can be moved to zoom in on a patch of sky. But how do they move those 100-ton beasts around the desert?
The Deep Space Network is a collection of antennas distributed around the world that allow us to keep in touch with our herd of extraterrestrial explorers. The complexes contain a mixture of 26-meter, 34-meter, and 70-meter antennas, all serving different functions.
The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has news so big it announced that it would announce something. The press conference will stream live tomorrow at noon, but cosmologists everywhere are gossiping about what that news could be. The leading theory: Scientists have detected gravitational waves, in what would…
NASA researchers have detected the faint glow of what they believe to be the first stars and galaxies to form in the aftermath of the Big Bang — and it's positively stunning. If the team's findings are correct, they could offer valuable insight into the nature of the Universe's very first objects.
The stars you see above represent just one tiny selection from an absolutely gargantuan new image of the Milky Way's galactic plane. Combining thousands of images taken over the last two years, it's the ultimate landscape of the night sky.
Many stars form in giant groups known as open clusters, which are crucial for the galaxy's development. There should be about 30,000 clusters in the Milky Way, but we've only ever found 2,500. Now, you can raise that number to 2,596.
At first, the exoplanet 55 Cancri e didn't look all that impressive: just another large rocky planet circling its star every couple of days. But a recalculation of its orbit has revealed that it's the galaxy's densest known planet.
The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted evidence of this cosmic buffet taking place 600 light years away in the constellation Auriga, where the WASP-12 yellow dwarf star is eating one of its planets.
Well, it's about time. Asteroids hitting Earth has been a big problem for life this planet since forever, and at last governments around the world have been united in their inability to give a shit. And they did it without Gort the giant robot forcing them! Next year, the Canadian Space Agency will launch the Near…
You're looking at the future site of the Earth's first permanent base on the Moon's south pole. This picture was created this week using NASA Jet Propulsion Lab's new, extra-powerful radar antenna dish, 70 meters across, in the California Mojave desert. Says NASA researcher Scott Hensley, "With these data [from the…
Yeah, you read that headline right. This supermassive radio telescope, set to be completed in Chile in 2012 (you're seeing an artist's rendering), listens to frequencies between the infrared and radio spectrum. It tunes in particles that will give astronomers an unprecedented portrait of the early universe, as well…
The Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico is the most sensitive and gigantic radio telescope in the world, used to do radar studies on objects in our local solar system. Despite its long history of excellent operation - it was built in the early 1960s - the National Science Foundation is threatening to cut its…