RADIO “EYES” PEER INTO SPACE
WITH STRANGE-LOOKING instruments that catch radio waves from the stars, Australian scientists are probing the mysteries of the universe. So far they have identified 100 “radio stars”—highly localized sources of cosmic static.
Things have come a very, very long way since then. Check out the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), currently being built in Chile. When it’s complete it will have 66 separate dishes, each over 12 meters in diameter and be powered by one of the worlds fastest supercomputers.
Signals from the Stars
EVER since it was first indicated that the static present in the output of radio receivers was due in part to physical disturbances on the sun a new field of research has attracted popular scientific interest. It is radio astronomy, whose equipment and observers listen not to man made responses, but instead to continuous “static” from the stars. That cosmic radio noise exists was realized as far back as 1931. Early records proved it to be most intense when receivers probed toward the Milky Way, or lengthwise through our enormous watch-shaped galaxy.