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New radio telescope launched in SA to solve 'dark energy' puzzle

17 August 2018 5:21 PM
Tags:
Cosmos
Astronomy
radio telescope
dark energy
HIRAX
The multimillion-rand apparatus will be based at the site of the MeerKAT radio telescope array in the Northern Cape.

A new radio telescope will be launched on Friday to probe the deep mysteries of radio bursts and dark energy.

The multimillion-rand apparatus will be based at the site of the MeerKAT radio telescope array in the Northern Cape.

It's called the HIRAX, which stands for the Hydrogen Intensity and Real Time Analysis eXperiment.

The HIRAX will investigate the mysterious dark energy, which is theorised to provide the energy for the accelerated expansion of the universe.

UWC astronomy researcher, Professor Roy Maartens says dark energy has existed since the begining of the universe about 14 billion years ago.

The cosmologist explains what dark energy is and what the HIRAX hopes to achieve.

In a nutshell, dark matter is the substance which holds galaxies together.

Prof. Roy Maartens Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics at the Physics Programme at UWC

Dark energy is the other substance which drives galaxies apart from each other.

Prof. Roy Maartens Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics at the Physics Programme at UWC

Dark energy has the effect of pushing galaxies away from each other, which leads to the accelerating expansion of the universe.

Prof. Roy Maartens Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics at the Physics Programme at UWC

Dark matter is dominant in galaxies and dark energy is dominant in the empty space between galaxies.

Prof. Roy Maartens Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics at the Physics Programme at UWC

We believe dark energy is the cause of the accelerating expansion of the universe.

Prof. Roy Maartens Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics at the Physics Programme at UWC

The strange thing about dark energy is that it's the one thing that doesn't get weaker as the universe gets bigger.

Prof. Roy Maartens Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics at the Physics Programme at UWC

Take a listen to the intriguing discussion on The John Maytham Show:


17 August 2018 5:21 PM
Tags:
Cosmos
Astronomy
radio telescope
dark energy
HIRAX

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