CfA: Greenland Telescope Opens New Era of Arctic Astronomy

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CfA: Greenland Telescope Opens New Era of Arctic Astronomy

Post by bystander » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:00 pm

Greenland Telescope Opens New Era of Arctic Astronomy
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | 2018 May 31
To study the most extreme objects in the Universe, astronomers sometimes have to go to some extreme places themselves. Over the past several months, a team of scientists has braved frigid temperatures to set up and observe with a new radio telescope in Greenland.

Taking advantage of excellent atmospheric conditions, the Greenland Telescope is designed to detect radio waves from stars, star-forming regions, galaxies and the vicinity of black holes. One of its primary goals is to take the first image of a supermassive black hole by joining the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a global array of radio dishes that are linked together.

The Greenland Telescope has recently achieved three important milestones, beginning with "first light" last December. Following this, the telescope was successfully synchronized with data from another radio telescope, and was then used in an observing run of the EHT in April 2018. With these achievements, scientists from the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics (ASIAA) of Taiwan and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Mass., have shown that the Greenland Telescope is able to explore some of the Universe’s deepest mysteries. ...

The Greenland Telescope is a 12-meter radio antenna that was originally built as a prototype for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) North America. Once ALMA was operational in Chile, the telescope was repurposed to Greenland to take advantage of the near-ideal conditions of the Arctic to study the Universe at specific radio frequencies, collaborating with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and MIT Haystack Observatory.

ASIAA led the effort to refurbish and rebuild the antenna to prepare it for the cold climate of Greenland's ice sheet. In 2016, the telescope was shipped to the Thule Air Base in Greenland, 1,200 km inside the Arctic Circle, where it was reassembled at this coastal site. ASIAA also built receivers for the antenna. ...
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