Johns Hopkins Spies on 13.8 Billion Year-Old Light

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Johns Hopkins astrophysicists have spent the past several years working to install one of the most powerful telescopes in the world in a remote mountain location in Chile. Now, all that effort has begun to pay off.

The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS) telescope is designed to be incredibly powerful because it has an incredibly hard job to do: It’s helping scientists study the origins of the universe by examining the oldest light in the universe, which manifests as a form of cosmic radiation.

CLASS, which was built in Baltimore on Hopkins’s Homewood campus, has just achieved “first light,” according to the Hopkins Hub. That’s a lovely way of saying that it’s begun to successfully observe that 13.8 billion year-old cosmic radiation. According to experts, it’ll take about a year of observations –and then plenty of analysis–before CLASS’s data can help further our understanding of how the universe came to be. Much of that work will be done by Hopkins profs, grad students, researchers, and undergrads. Stay tuned… I feel another Nobel prize coming.

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