A second telescope is planned for astronomers to continue their work listening to space

Hearing new galaxies

Astronomers are hoping to set up a second radio telescope close to Penticton, to aid them in their search for “host galaxies of fast radio bursts.”

These sharp beeps of radio signal, lasting a small snippet of one second are believed to come from distant galaxies. While the team does not know precisely what causes these bursts, they believe it is part of the natural life of very large stars.

Mark Halpern, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of B.C. will be presenting for the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen for the temporary site use to construct a telescope. 

CHIME plans to use a second receiver to be able to learn which galaxy each burst comes from and help them understand what they are.

It was stated in their proposal that the land they plan to build on is currently used for grazing cattle, but they will be fencing the land immediately near the telescope. Otherwise, area outside the fence will not be interfered with.

The radio telescope will set up on land in Allenby, which they currently have licensed for five years from Copper Creek Ranch for that purpose. After their lease is up, they plan to remove the telescope.

The second set up is needed for measuring the timing of signals arriving at the two instruments to help determine the direction to the source. CHIME identifies around one Fast Radio Burst per day. 

The proposal states that the radio telescope is safe as it has no moving parts, does not use high voltage and does not emit any radiation. It will apparently not make any noise except for an air-conditioner used to keep the electronics from overheating in the summer. 

A public information meeting with the RDOS for the temporary use permit will be on August 17 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

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