Astronomers know how to avoid disturbing Earth’s atmosphere with new technology

Astronomers know how to avoid disturbing Earth’s atmosphere with new technology

About the episode

An international team of researchers, led by astronomers from Leiden, has managed to circumvent disturbances in the Earth’s atmosphere using a new calibration technique.

This makes it possible to better study exploding black holes, for example. Thanks to new technology, they were able to create clear radio maps at low frequencies. This was always seen as impossible, because these frequencies are distorted by the ionosphere about 80 kilometers above the Earth.

Researchers have now been able to avoid this. Using the new method, they were actually able to image plasma from ancient black hole explosions. This technique may also be suitable for finding exoplanets orbiting small stars.

The LOFAR telescope in Drenthe was used for the research, which is currently one of the world’s best low-frequency radio telescopes. More data is currently being analysed. Eventually, they hope to map the entire northern sky at these low frequencies.

Read more about the research here: Radio astronomers avoid disturbing Earth’s atmosphere with a new calibration technique

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