The newly completed radio telescope with abilities to image the sky and capture signals from space was unveiled yesterday in British Columbia. To know better in understand the history of the universe.
Unlike other radio telescopes, it allow scientist to create a three-dimensional map of the largest volume of space. The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) is a radio telescope made up of half-pipe reflectors with an array of radio receivers along the focus. No round dish and no moving parts.
CHIME will survey more than half the sky each day as the Earth turns. It captures radio frequencies that can map hydrogen gas in the universe. This will open the universe to a new dimension in nature of distant stars. This helps with the study of gravitational waves. The researchers to measure the expansion history of the universe. Expect to further understanding of the mysterious dark energy that drives that expansion ever faster.
Gravity & Extreme Universe program
The $16-million investment for CHIME was provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the governments of British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. Additional funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and CIFAR.
This is about better understanding how the universe began and what lies ahead,” said Mark Halpern, a Senior Fellow in CIFAR’s Gravity & the Extreme Universe program and principal investigator with CHIME.
A Canadian collaboration with heavy involvement from CIFAR fellows in the Gravity & the Extreme Universe program. However, CHIME brings together scientists from the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, McGill University, and the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, where the telescope was built.
Radio bursts and Radio pulsars
In addition to mapping the universe, CHIME captures a frequency range that is ideal for studying fast radio bursts and radio pulsars. As CHIME developed, CIFAR researchers recognized that with only a small modification to the backend system. The telescope could simultaneously measure Fast Radio Bursts. Fast Radio Bursts last only a few thousandths of a second. But are far brighter and more powerful than any known short flashes. Such as pulses from radio pulsars, a form of neutron star. Their brief nature combined with technological constraints have made them difficult to detect.
Researchers affiliated with CIFAR have helped bring CHIME to life from its unique design to the underlying hydrogen-mapping technique. Meanwhile, key members of the scientific collaboration include Halpern (UBC), CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar alumnus Keith Vanderlinde (UofT), Senior Fellows J. Richard Bond (UofT), Matt Dobbs (McGill), Gary Hinshaw (UBC) and Ue-Li Pen (UofT).
CIFAR Program Director and R. Howard Webster Foundation Fellow Victoria Kaspi (McGill) is the lead investigator of the CHIME extension. To study transient radio signals with Senior Fellows Ingrid Stairs (UBC) and Scott Ransom National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
Moreover, CHIME’s unique design will enable us to tackle one of the most puzzling new areas of astrophysics today Fast Radio Bursts. Only two dozen reported since their discovery a decade ago. CHIME is likely to detect many of these objects every day. Providing a massive treasure trove of data that will put Canada at the forefront of this research,” said Kaspi.