Kech Cosmic Re-ionization Mapper

17 Dec 2017

At https://phys.org/print432547128.html ... on the 'things are getting interesting' cavalcade this one is worth looking at. The Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI) has been operative since September (2017) and detects light in the blue spectrum, or pattern of the visible wavelength. KCWI has been quite successful to date. However, when the second part of the project takes off, the Kech Cosmic Re-ionisation Mapper, it will map emissions of hydrogen at 'very high red shifts' in order to understand the environments of the first stars that formed. The KCRM will trace fundamental hydrogen transitions to within 700 million years - after Big Bang. At this time, it is thought, unknown sources turned on and re-ionised all the intergalactic gas in the universe. This process of re-ionisation is not currently understood - and is one of the key science questions to be solved in the next decade (or so we are told). When the red optimised wide field capability come onboard they hope to discover the first large scale structures in the universe, and red shift is part of that process. IN so doing they hope they will better understand star forming regions, jets, outflows, stellar population numbers, and the inevitable dark matter - a tall order but enthusiasm is high ...