Equipment Helping Us Better Understand Space
By Space Coast Daily // January 18, 2022
The cosmos provides limitless wonder and beauty to those who scour its intricacies for the answers to life’s big questions. Even if there are no answers to be found and the threat of an existential crisis looms over the horizon, the vastness of space is still a mesmerizing concept for cosmologists and science enthusiasts everywhere.
In order to unravel the secrets and observe the farthest recesses of the universe, some extremely high-tech equipment is often needed.
If you happen to have an unquenchable thirst for more scientific knowledge, or you are a practicing scientist yourself and want to explore some more potential for experimentation, you may wish to check out some examples of equipment that help the human race better understand its own cosmic backyard.
XRD (X-Ray Diffraction) Spectrometers
The crux of XRD is fairly simple yet wonderfully effective at identifying the molecular properties of materials, and it can be done with ease using an x-ray diffraction spectrometer.
By shooting x-rays at a material sample, scientists can measure the corresponding wavelength effects, allowing for them to uncover the atomical properties of their substance.
This can be a fantastic way of studying fallen meteorites and their various mineral compositions, thus revealing information about their history and their journey through space.
For some deeper insight, you may wish to take a look at some of the best machines on the market at malvernpanalytical.com.
The James Webb Telescope
This is not exactly a telescope you can buy at your local pawnshop for some backyard stargazing.
The $10 billion-dollar ultra-advanced infrared-wielding mega telescope will be able to search the outer limits of the cosmos for the origins of the universe itself.
In terms of advanced astrophysics equipment, this is up there with the elite standard that the world’s scientists have to offer.
Cosmic microwave background radiation is a type of radiation leftover from when the universe initially formed, and its presence is critical to cosmology as a whole since it essentially helps scientists understand the (almost) immediate moments following the big bang.
Measuring this background radiation requires the use of some highly sensitive apparatus called microwave radiometers. They work by measuring the thermally emitted background noise created by the cosmic microwave background radiation, but a particularly powerful radio telescope will likely be able to detect it too.
The Deep Space Network
All the data produced by the various interplanetary missions need to be processed somehow; how else would the two Voyager spacecraft be able to send back information from billions of miles away?
NASA’s Deep Space Network is what makes it all happen – it is a collection of monolithic satellites that span the entire world, and there are even some in the atmosphere.
They need to be big because they have to enable the transmission of data across the most extreme distances imaginable.
Without this system, receiving information from the depths of space would be nigh impossible, making the network invaluable in humankind’s pursuit to better understand the cosmos.