7 Outstanding Achievements of Astronomical Technology

7 Outstanding Achievements of Astronomical Technology

WAAR_DUHOK

 

 

Dark Energy Camera

Dark Energy Camera

Dark Energy is probably the most mysterious phenomenon that is currently known to the scientific community. Having said that, nobody is really sure what it actually is but scientists believe that it is the force behind the rapid expansion of the universe. In an effort to figure out an answer for this long-lasting mystery, researchers at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory have developed a Dark Energy Camera (DECam), which captures high-definition images of the cosmos. DECam cataloged 300 million galaxies while mapping out 1/8th of the sky.

Large Hadron Collider

Large Hadron Collider - Astronomical Technology

It is the most powerful particle accelerator that humans have been able to make to date. However, efforts are being made to build another one, which will be 4 times larger than this 27-kilometer magnetic ring. This collider became operational in 2009 and three years later, confirmed the existence of the Higgs Boson. This achievement gave scientists the hope that this amazing device might prove to be an exceptional astronomical technology by extracting some useful information about Dark Matter and Dark Energy. However, no physical evidence has been found until now and the chances of success are extremely grim.

Pierre Auger Observatory

Pierre Auger Observatory

Earth is being continuously bombarded by a stream of high-energy particles, which are commonly known as Cosmic Rays. These rays are extremely rare and can be divided into lower-energy and higher-energy rays. According to an estimate, only a single high-energy particle is likely to hit a square kilometer of the Earth in a hundred years. In order to detect these rays, astronomers have constructed the Pierre Auger Observatory, which is spread across an area of 3,000 square kilometers in Argentina. Since the completion of its construction in 2008, this observatory has detected that the cosmic rays travel down to the Earth in form of several secondary particles.

Hubble Space Telescope

Hubble Space Telescope - Astronomical Technology

Hubble is often regarded as the most impressive achievement of astronomical technology because of the discoveries it has brought to the scientific community. It has seen the depths of space with much more clarity than what we get with ground-based telescopes. Similarly, it has been more consistent than any observatory that is placed on the Earth. This telescope has enabled the astronomers to explore all kinds of phenomena ranging from supermassive black holes to supernovae. All in all, it can be concluded that the Hubble Space Telescope has changed our understanding of the universe.

LIGO Interferometer

LIGO Interferometer

In 1916, Albert Einstein was the first man to propose the term ‘Gravitational Waves’, which refer to the celestial ripples in the fabric of space and time. Despite his claims, this idea remained more of a theory until 1974, when the researchers at the LIGO were finally able to manufacture an interferometer that could detect these minute distortions. The first detection of gravitational waves came from a couple of colliding black holes, an event that took place nearly 1.3 billion years ago. The detectors at the facility are so sensitive that they can measure a fluctuation thousand times smaller than a proton.

Super Kamiokande

Super Kamiokande

A lot of recent astronomical discoveries have had a link with a special sub-atomic particle, called Neutrino. Recent developments have shown that it is the most abundant particle in the universe and was considered to be massless until Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald found otherwise. In 2015, they demonstrated that neutrinos do change their intrinsic properties while moving from one place to another. This amazing discovery was made possible by a massive underground detector called the Super Kamiokande. The analysis of that experiment also allowed the physicists to figure out the properties of the neutrinos.

International Space Station

International Space Station - Astronomical Technology

ISS can be considered the human signature because it is the largest artificial structure we have managed to send into space. A collective effort of several nations was spent on building this spacecraft which keeps us informed of our surroundings. Similarly, a number of research projects are performed on the International Space Station to broaden our knowledge about the universe. For instance, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) measures the cosmic rays before they enter the atmosphere. Therefore, the gathered data can help us to determine the source of these radiations. You can get all the latest details about the International Space Station at

 

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