EU funded research helps astronomers see the bigger picture
Tue, 23/08/2011 - 15:52
Brussels, 23 August 2011 - A groundbreaking technique to produce real-time, high-resolution images of distant galaxies has been developed by astronomers thanks to EU-funding. Radio telescopes around the world can now simultaneously observe the most remote objects in the universe and create high resolution images – a level of detail equivalent to identifying a football on the moon. The technique, called Electronic Very Long Baseline Interferometry (e-VLBI), helps to reveal clues on how galaxies are formed by allowing astronomers to receive and process data in near real-time as an experiment is running, thanks to high speed optical networks. This allows multiple radio telescopes throughout the world to work together to simulate one giant telescope. This not only improves the quality of observation results but also helps to maximise the return on investment in radio telescopes. Two high- capacity electronic communications networks projects, EXPReS and NEXPReS, which have received €7.4 million in EU funding, are supporting the development and use of e-VLBI astronomy. Developing e-Infrastructures to build Europe's innovative advantage is one of the priorities of the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200).
Read the full EU press release.