Australian telescope searching southern skies for black holes
Cangaroo II telescope against backdrop
of star-trails and the Large Magellanic Cloud.
(CNN) -- A new telescope that will search the southern skies for black holes opens Tuesday in the Australian outback. The joint Australian-Japanese project could provide data on black holes that have never been investigated before, researchers said.
The gamma ray telescope will also enable astronomers to observe radiation from supernovas and pulsars. It will scan the heavens from a remote desert location in South Australia.
Adelaide University in South Australia and the University of Tokyo will jointly operate the 10-meter CANGAROO II, which replaces a 3.8-meter instrument used since the two universities began the CANGAROO project in 1992.
The US $2.3 million telescope is the first of four slated for the location, according to Adelaide University. Scientists plan to connect them into a powerful telescopic system, which will allow researchers to probe huge black holes in the southern skies.
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"They have an enormous effect on the energy of a galaxy, and how it evolves," said the Australian coordinator of the project, John Patterson, in a statement.
"We want to study what happens to their energy. From its center, a black hole can shoot out a jet called a blazar like the axle from a wheel, and at huge velocities. Although we now have some theories about how they work, nobody really knows," the Adelaide University physics professor said.
CANGAROO takes its name from Collaboration of Australia and Nippon for a Gamma Ray Observatory in the Outback.
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