The Skinaka Observatory of Crete will carry out a unique astrophysics experiment — named Pasiphae — to reveal traces of the Big Bang, the “primeval light” created at the earliest points of creation. The observatory was selected for the unique experiment. It will be joined by South Africa’s SAAO Observatory and other groups in the experiment, which was announced on Wednesday during the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science EWASS 2016 conference organized by the Eugenides Foundation on Monday in collaboration with the European Astronomical Society and the Greek Astronomical Society.
The experiment is a collaborative effort of the Astrophysics Group in Crete (the joint Astrophysics group at the Institute of Plasma Physics, the University of Crete, the Foundation for Research and Technolohy-Hellas, and Skinakas Observatory) with the Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) in Pune, India, the California Institute of Technology in the U.S., and the South African Astronomical Observatory. Additional funding is provided by Infosys, India, the South African National Equipment Program, and Caltech.
About the project
PASIPHAE will use unique, innovative polarimeters that are designed specifically for this purpose, to perform magnetic tomography of the Galaxy: it will allow scientists to deduce the 3-dimensional structure of the magnetic field and the dust that resides in our own Galaxy. Moreover, removing the “veil” of Galactic dust the team will also be able to accurately estimate the polarization of the radiation emitted during the Big Bang in order to probe the first instants of the Universe, as well as the, yet-unknown, physics of Gravity at unprecedentedly high densities and temperatures.
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