New Radio Telescope Array Can Image the Entire Sky Simultaneously

A new radio telescope array developed by a consortium of astronomers led by the California Institute of Technology is now operating at the Owens Valley Radio Observatory near Big Pine, CA. The array can image simultaneously the entire sky at radio wavelengths with unmatched speed. Astronomers hope that the array, called the Owens Valley Long Wavelength Array (OV-LWA), will help them put together a more complete picture of the early universe. Combining the observing power of over 250 antennas spread out over a desert area equivalent to about 450 football fields, the OV-LWA is uniquely sensitive to faint variable radio signals such as those produced by pulsars, solar flares, and auroras on distant planets. Operating at full speed, the new array produces 25 terabytes of data every day, making it one of the most data-intensive telescopes in the world. In this video, two side-by-side videos show the sky as seen looking straight up from the ground at radio (left) and optical (right) wavelengths. The radio movie covers 24 hours of observation with the new OV-LWA.