Finding out more about the expansion of the Universe is crucial, even nowadays, when we’re 100 years after Edwin Hubble discovered that our Cosmos is not a static place as Einstein once thought.
Today, astronomers know about the existence of dark matter as being the primary engine behind the acceleration of the Universe’s expansion itself. But what exactly dark matter is, where it came from, and how exactly it accelerates the expansion itself represent huge conundrums for science.
The MeerKAT telescope marks another scientific achievement
Scientists wanted to determine the distribution of faint signatures of neutral hydrogen gas that exist across vast cosmic areas. To achieve that, they exploited the power of 64 radio telescopes for the first time, and the MeerKat telescope from South Africa made it possible, according to SciTechDaily.
But scientists will be focusing on what the SKA Observatory (SKAO) will be capable of as soon as its development ends. This telescope aims to provide a deeper understanding of the Universe, along with its apparently everlasting expansion.
Steven Cunnington, one of the lead authors of the new research, explained as SciTechDaily quotes:
For many years I have worked towards forecasting the future capability of the SKAO. To now reach a stage where we are developing the tools we will need and demonstrating their success with real data is incredibly exciting. This only marks the beginning of what we hope will be a continuous showcase of results which advances our understanding of the Universe.
The MeerKAT Observatory was formerly known as Karoo Array Telescope, and it consists of 64 antennas mounted in the Northern Cape of South Africa – in the Meerkat National Park, to be more precise.
Along with two radio telescopes located in Western Australia, known as the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) and the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP), as well as the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA), which is also located in South Africa, MeerKAT is one of the precursors to the SKA Observatory.
The new research was published here.