The Cerro Chajnantor Atacama Telescope-prime, or CCAT-p for short, is six metres in diameter and there are more than 40 Canadian researchers working on the high-powered instrument.
Scott Chapman, an astrophysics professor at Dalhousie University, said the telescope has an unprecedented number of detectors to catch far-infrared wavelengths of light invisible to the naked eye.
Those wavelengths of light could give scientists a glimpse into the early formation of our universe following the Big Bang nearly 14 billion years ago, as well as the formation of our own Milky Way galaxy and the nature of dark matter.
“It ends the dark ages of the universe when these first objects of the universe turn on, first galaxies start to form and the stars emit their light,” Chapman said.
“This is an untapped earliest epoch in the universe which this telescope is well designed to figure out how that happened.”
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