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21 Sep 19:00

Public AstroNight: CHIME - First Light for a revolutionary new telescope

In radio astronomy, a revolution is underway in the technology that is used to observe the sky. The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) telescope saw first light in British Columbia, Canada this month. It represents a revolution in the way telescopes work: CHIME has no moving parts. Instead, it captures signals on thousands of antennas seeing a large area of sky and processes this information into a realtime image using custom digitizer and networking electronics, and a large computer array of graphics processing cards. CHIME will map the sky with an unprecedented rate, providing new insights into how the universe evolved and how it may eventually end. It will monitor the entire overhead sky each night, unlocking the ability to monitor and search for transient events such as fast radio bursts - explosions of radio light that momentarily outshine the rest of the sky.

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