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Moon helps reveal secrets of the universe

Moon helps reveal secrets of the universe

Full article issued by The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research.

A team of astronomers led by ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) recipient, Dr Benjamin McKinley at the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), and the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D), has observed the Moon with the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope to help search for radio signals given off by the faint signal from hydrogen atoms in the infant Universe.

The astronomers used the Moon as a reference point of known brightness and shape, which allowed the team to measure the brightness of the Milky Way at the position of the occulting Moon. The astronomers also took into account ‘earthshine’—radio waves from Earth that reflect off the Moon and back onto the telescope—which otherwise corrupts the signal from the Moon.

With more observations, the astronomers hope to uncover the hydrogen signal and put theoretical models of the Universe to the test.



Image Credit: David Herne, ICRAR

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