Science & Tech

Telescope will look toward the edge of the universe

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Can look back in time as far as 13-14 billion years

A mountaintop in Chile provides one of the best places on Earth to see light that has been traveling toward our world for billions of years. “It’s an inspiring place to be on a clear night with the center of the Milky Way directly overhead,” says Robert Kirshner, a professor of astronomy. “You can see light that has been traveling from the center of our galaxy for 10,000 years, or from the far parts of the universe for billions of years.” The center of the Milky Way cannot be seen well from the Northern Hemisphere; the nearest galaxies to the Earth and a large part of the sky around the South Pole cannot be seen at all. That’s why Harvard astronomers erected a huge telescope on that Chilean mountaintop in December 2000 to see to the edges of the universe.