20:47 14.01.2020 (updated 21:07 14.01.2020) Short URL
In a remote area of Paraíba's hinterland, scientists are making progress on building a radio telescope that will help unravel mysteries of the universe, such as the formation of the so-called dark energy.
Named Bingo, short for Baryon Acoustic Oscillations in Natural Gas Observations, or Baryon Acoustic Oscillations in Neutral Gas Observations, the apparatus resembles a "radio, but more sensitive, sophisticated and larger," according to physicist Carlos Alexandre Wuensche of National Institute of Special Research (INPE).
The telescope, which will operate in the 960-1260 MHz radio band, is being developed by an international consortium led by Brazil, with researchers and institutions from Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, China and Saudi Arabia.
The Instrument will represent a major national and international astronomical advance. After the study phase, Bingo will begin construction this year, with operations expected to operate at 80% of capacity by 2022.
'Instead of watching the light, the radio waves'
"Instead of observing the light, he observes radio waves," explained the astrophysics researcher at INPE, the agency that coordinates the project alongside the University of São Paulo (USP), in partnership with the Federal University of Campina Grande (UFCG). . Most of the funds are from Fapesp (São Paulo State Research Support Fund).
"Bingo's main objective is to identify the characteristics of a component of the universe called dark energy, which causes its expansion to accelerate. About 70% of the universe is dark energy, of which we know virtually nothing," Wuensche told Sputnik Brazil.
According to the physicist, these characteristics can be analyzed by identifying hydrogen at different times in the universe. The period studied comprises where we are, that is, today, until the moment when the universe was half its present age (14 billion years).
'Tomography of the Universe'
"Our radio telescope can measure hydrogen emissions, which is the most common element in the universe, the first element of the periodic table. This element allows us to verify the oscillation of the distribution of matter," he said.
The project will make a kind of "tomography of the universe", which will allow us to analyze the distribution of hydrogen over time and to understand how dark anergy works.
Bingo is made up of two satellite dishes, one 40 meters and one 34 meters in diameter, occupying an area larger than half a football field. They are connected to receivers over four meters long.
"It has a competitive advantage by not requiring a motor, it is fixed. Antennas point to a certain region of the sky and, throughout the day, the sky will pass in front of the telescope and it will always see the same region at the same time. "The objective is to repeatedly observe, without the slightest interference, the same region. The longer you look, the better to identify the acoustic oscillation of barons," he said.
Sertão da Paraíba was the best place found
Paraíba's highland, more specifically a region called Serra da Catarina, near the city of Aguiar, was chosen for its hard-to-reach location after a pilgrimage through Uruguay, Rio Grande do Sul, Goiás, Sao Paulo and Bahia.
"Paraiba was the last and best place we found, with the least amount of radio interference. The track that Bingo is going to study is an air navigation track, not restricted to radio astronomy, so there's the proximity of cell phones, the transponder aircraft, stationary satellite telecommunications, this is very disruptive. The chosen region minimizes the effects of these various noise-impairing observation, "said the researcher. (tagsToTranslate) Bingo (t) radio telescope construction of a radio telescope in Paraíba (t) o which is a radio telescope (t) dark energy study