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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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NSF Prepares to Dish Up New Telescope
16 January 1997 8:00 pm
For more than a dozen years, astronomers have been designing a unique new telescope: an oval-shaped ring of 40 antennas that would open up a little-explored part of the spectrum to "see" everything from extrasolar planets to the formation of galaxies. Next month, Science has learned, their efforts will come one step closer to reality when the Clinton Administration requests money to begin work on the $200 million Millimeter Array (MMA).
The array's big payoff would come from its ability to detect electromagnetic emissions at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths, the part of the spectrum between infrared and radio waves. This portion of the spectrum provides a glimpse into the cool interstellar dust and gas clouds that tell volumes about both the present and early universe but are opaque to optical telescopes. And it's been largely off limits to radio astronomers, who are confined to either smaller, less powerful millimeter instruments or telescopes in the centimeter range.
The MMA "will be unique in its capacity to probe vast areas of the universe with 10 times the resolution and 100 times the sensitivity of existing arrays," says Richard Simon of the National Radio Astronomical Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia, which wants to build the telescope. "There are a huge number of astronomical problems that this [capability] opens up." Anneila Sargent, director of the Owens Valley Radio Observatory operated by the California Institute of Technology, calls the MMA "a new window into the universe. Its time has come," she says.
The project would be funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which will request $25 million over 3 years to build and test a prototype array with two antennas and a receiver. If all goes well, NSF would then seek additional money to build and install the full array by about 2005. NSF would like international partners to put up between 25% and 50% of the total construction and operating costs in return for a share of observing time, but so far it has no takers. For more details on the MMA, Science Online subscribers can link to the News story in tomorrow's Science.