Scientists Probably Look at 250 Million Light Years Further into the Universe Annually
Scientists from University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed an instrument that is a sort of “Time Machine”. This instrument will help scientists to study back in the time i.e. the earliest galaxies in the history of the universe.
The instrument, which is five tons in weight and considered as the most advanced and sophisticated instrument is referred to as MOSFIRE (Multi-Object Spectrometer for Infra-Red Exploration) and has been installed in the Keck I Telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
MOSFIRE works by gathering infrared light and allow seeing the distant objects whose light has been “redshifted” to the infrared due to the expansion of the universe. It will also help scientists to see the faint and merging galaxies, planets orbiting nearby stars, star formation within our own galaxy, dark matter in the universe and much more.
"The instrument was designed to study the most distant, faintest galaxies," said UCLA physics and astronomy professor Ian S. McLean, project leader on MOSFIRE and director of UCLA's Infrared Laboratory for Astrophysics. "When we look at the most distant galaxies, we see them not as they are now but as they were when the light left them that is just now arriving here. Some of the galaxies that we are studying were formed some 10 billion years ago — only a few billion years after the Big Bang. We are looking back in time to the era of the formation of some of the very first galaxies, which are small and very faint. That is an era that we need to study if we are going to understand the large-scale structure of the universe."
First experiments on Keck I Telescope have been done on April 4 and after further tests and evaluations on May and June, the telescope will start working by September.
Recently, IBM has also announced to see beyond the edges of the universe in collaboration with ASTRON. Their project is thought to be completed by 2024.
I think IBM’s project is more complicated as the company is going to see behind the time rather than back in the time. However, the efficiency of the scientists of UCLA is to be considered as they will start their project’s work by this year. If we want to see the universe behind 10 billion light years and up to 13 billion light years, we have to wait for another 12 years till the completion of the IBM’s project.
It means we are roughly looking 250 million light years (and more) farther in the universe annually.
(Image credit: NASA)