(ORDO NEWS) — The new infrared telescope, which will be designed and built by astronomers at Australian National University (ANU), will monitor the entire southern sky in search of new space events as they occur.
DREAMS – a dynamic study of the observation of the entire sky – will be located at the historic Siding Spring Observatory in northern New South Wales.
The telescope will be used by observers all over the world and advance Australia to the forefront of the developing field of astronomy in the study of cosmic events in almost “real time”.
Leading researcher Professor Anna Moore, director of the ANU Institute of Outer Space, said that the study of the southern sky in the infrared has never been carried out and will help to find many hidden treasures in the universe.
“DREAMS will allow us to“ see ”the universe in a whole new way,” said Moore.
“Infrared telescopes can study dusty and distant regions of space into which optical telescopes do not penetrate, revealing new stars, nebulae, mergers, galaxies, supernovae, quasars and other radiation sources new to science.
“By monitoring the sky continuously and quickly, we will be able to search for various and explosive phenomena. This is real-time astronomy, which allows us to study events that occur over months, weeks, or days, rather than millions of years.”
DREAMS consists of a fully automatic 0.5-meter telescope and an infrared camera. In each picture, DREAMS “sees” 3.75 square degrees (20 times the moon) and can map the entire southern sky for three clear nights. The telescope is 10 times more powerful than its closest competitors.
The data obtained by DREAMS will help to detect the source of gravitational waves, as well as the collision of neutron stars and black holes.
“DREAMS will provide astronomy with several kinds of data — detecting new events by observing the sky using different wavelengths of light,” said lead researcher Mansi Castlely of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
Thus, he seeks to accurately determine the elusive gravitational-wave phenomena.
“The fusion of black holes with neutron stars is especially interesting because they create heavy elements that shine in the infrared.”
According to Dr. Tony Travoilan, co-researcher and chief technical manager of the project, DREAMS is innovative and economical.
“Infrared sky studies have always been limited to the cost of cameras, not telescopes,” said Dr. Travuyon, who works at the ANU’s School of Astrophysics and Astronomy.
“We use six of these cameras on our telescope. This gives us a scalable design that minimizes tool complexity and cost.”
The telescope will be completed in early 2021, and work will begin shortly after. Co-researcher Professor Orsola De Marco of Macquarie University will use simulations to explain the merging of stars captured by DREAM.
“I hope the telescope sees the merging stars, so dusty that they glow brightly in the infrared,” she said.
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