LOFAR: World's biggest radiotelescope launched in Netherlands

Jun 13, 2010
NASA image shows clusters of stars. Scientists in the Netherlands unveiled the largest radiotelescope in the world on Saturday, saying it was capable of detecting faint signals from almost as far back as the Big Bang.

Scientists in the Netherlands unveiled the largest radiotelescope in the world on Saturday, saying it was capable of detecting faint signals from almost as far back as the Big Bang.

The LOFAR (LOw Frequency ARray) consists of 25,000 small antennas measuring between 50 centimetres and two metres across, instead of a traditional large dish, said Femke Boekhorst of the Netherlands Radioastronomy Institute.

It is based near the northeastern Dutch town of Assen, but the antennas are spread out across the rest of the Netherlands and also in Germany, Sweden, France and Britain.

"Today we have launched the biggest radiotelescope in the world. When you combine all the antennas you get a giant telescope with a diameter of about 1,000 kilometres (600 miles)," Boekhorst told AFP.

"The observations that we will be able to make will allow us to learn more about the origin of the universe, back to the moment right after the ," she added.

The data gathered by the telescope will be dealt with by a at the university of Groningen and then transmitted to the institute.

Explore further: Astronomers discover first self-lensing binary star system

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Aliensarethere
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2010
"..faint signals from almost as far back as the Big Bang."

Well, the cosmic microwave background radiation was discovered in 1964, and comes from the time of radiation and matter decoupling, which happened about 400,000 years after the big bang.

So the statement is not that impressive.
tkjtkj
not rated yet Jun 14, 2010
"..faint signals from almost as far back as the Big Bang ... So the statement is not that impressive.


But the 'devil' is in the "almost" ...

One's 'almost' is another's 'pretty much right on!'.
rwinners
not rated yet Jun 21, 2010
"Well, the cosmic microwave background radiation was discovered in 1964, and comes from the time of radiation and matter decoupling, which happened about 400,000 years after the big bang."

... according to current scientific thinking. Then again.. a couple of hundred years ago, we didn't even suspect galaxies.
Time will tell....

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