Sunday, April 15, 2012

A new scientific instrument, a "time machine" of sorts, built by UCLA astronomers and colleagues, will allow scientists to study the earliest galaxies in the universe, which could never be studied before.
The five-ton instrument, the most advanced and sophisticated of its kind in the world, goes by the name MOSFIRE (Multi-Object Spectrometer for Infra-Red Exploration) and has been installed in the Keck I Telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
MOSFIRE gathers light in infrared wavelengths -- invisible to the human eye -- allowing it to penetrate cosmic dust and see distant objects whose light has been stretched or"redshifted" tothe infrared by the expansion of the universe.
"The instrument was designed to study the most distant, faintest galaxies,"