Giant telescope commissioned in Mexico
(earthtimes.org) - A massive telescope has been commissioned on one of the tallest mountains of Mexico Wednesday, which is expected to help astronomers and space scientists to look back 13 billion years and explore for clues to the origin of the universe, reports Trend.
The Large Millimeter Telescope, or TMT, was inaugurated by Mexico's president Vicente Fox. The huge telescope will be able to pick up electromagnetic radiation, called millimeter waves, emitted 13 billion years ago, when scientists believe, the first of the stars exploded into existence.
The $128 million telescope is a joint project by the United States and Mexico. It covers an area of 4,580 meter, atop Sierra Negara, Mexico's fifth-highest peak and an extinct volcano. With its 50-meter diameter antenna, it is capable of picking up signals from the faintest objects in outer space. One specialty about LMT is that it picks up electromagnetic radiation at wavelengths of 1 millimeter to 3 millimeters -- shorter than radio waves but longer than infrared, visible light and gamma rays.
Sierra Negra is in the eastern part of the city of Puebla in central Mexico. It has a mild climate and suitable for millimeter telescopes, which require very low levels of water vapor in the air.