Expo/Science & Industry/Whispers From the Cosmos


High in a dry plain at Hat Creek in northern California sits the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Association's (BIMA) radiosynthesis array.

Rick Forster, Univ. of California at Berkeley, on-camera
Movie/Sound Byte
QuickTime Movie (2.2 MB); Sound File (1.1 MB); Text

The BIMA array's many receiving dishes act as a single telescope, searching the heavens for clues to such questions as:

Is space really empty?

What lies between the stars?

Can molecules, including those we're made out of, form in space?

How are stars born?

What determines the shapes of galaxies?

Buried in the radio signals that the BIMA array collects from space are the answers to these intriguing questions. First, though, scientists must turn the mountains of data produced by the telescope into images, especially radio maps, that yield insight. Important advances in computing technologies and high speed telecommunications are now enabling them to do this much more quickly. As a result, the pace of discovery from the BIMA array and other radiotelescopes promises to quicken by leaps and bounds.

You might like to take a two-minute video tour of this exhibit's contents. However, the Quicktime movie is rather large (12.1 MB!), so be patient when downloading. It'll take a few minutes. (Further information on downloading movies can be obtained from the Technical Corner and Navigation Tips.)

Alternatively, you can get a good idea of what the video shows and tells by looking at the video script and thumbnails. The script also offers links into the exhibit itself.

Unveiling the Hidden Universe

QuickTime (12.1 MB); MPEG (4.9 MB); Sound (3.0 MB); Thumbnail (24K); Text of Script

Credits and Acknowledgments

If you prefer, you can enter the exhibit via the menu below. A hierarchical map of all main documents will help you navigate.

Seeing the Invisible

Already, the BIMA array is yielding a host of new discoveries about the formation of stars and molecules deep in space.

The BIMA Array: Today and Beyond

The BIMA array is a highly versatile instrument, able to collect a wide variety of information from cold, dark regions of the cosmos.

Computers: The Image Forming Elements

Plans to expand the array will help drive advances in computing and communications that could transform not only radioastronomy, but the science of astronomy as a whole.


Check here for further reading about radioastronomy and the BIMA Array.

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Copyright 1995, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois

NCSA. Last modified 11/10/95