Have you ever wondered what causes the twinkle in stars?
✨It is the gases in the earth’s atmosphere, which disperse some of the light and gives the star that twinkling look.
✨Twinkling is all well and good for nursery rhymes, but plays havoc for astrophysicists who need to calculate the exact locations of stars and planets!
?Researchers at the University of Sydney recently invented a new technology called “The Photonic Wavefront Sensor.”
?This piece of equipment makes telescopes more accurate when trying to pinpoint the location of a star or planet.
?Before the advent of the sensor, measurements of light direction were susceptible to inaccuracies due to distortion caused by the Earth’s atmosphere.
?In space, being off by even just a tenth of a degree can lead to dramatically wrong results.
How does the sensor work?
?The Photonic Wavefront Sensor uses Photonics and Artificial Intelligence to calculate the light distortion caused by the atmosphere.
?It has been connected to the 8.2 meter Subaru Telescope in Hawaii.
?With this new sensor, scientists will be able to find the exact location of stars and planets.
Perhaps the device will assist with finding distant planets that may have the right atmospheric conditions to support life!
What is Photonics?
?Photonics is the study of light (photons). Many scientists study photonics in hopes of improving the speed of technology, for light is much faster than electricity.
Did You Know?
?The Subaru Telescope is actually owned by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, though it is located at the summit of dormant volcano in the state of Hawaii in the USA.
? It took 7 years to construct and is one of the largest optical-infrared telescopes in the world.