When it's complete, a new infrared telescope in Australia will give
astronomers an unprecedented glimpse of the universe.
The Dynamic Red All-Sky Monitoring Survey (DREAMS) is expected to be
completed early next year, at which point scientists will be able to
watch supernovae, star mergers, and other epic cosmic events in "real
time" - giving scientists a more detailed understanding of the universe
than ever before.
DREAMS' camera will be able to map the entire southern sky in surveys
that take just three days, allowing astronomers to rapidly find and
track cosmic events.
"By monitoring the sky continuously and rapidly, we will be able to
search for varying and explosive phenomena," Anna Moore, Director of
the Australian National University Institute for Space, said in a press
release. "This 'real-time' astronomy, which allows us to study events
taking place over months, weeks or days instead of millions of years,
is a window into the great unknown."
In this case, "real-time" doesn';t mean astronomers will see things
like an exploding star when the actual explosion happens - that light
still needs to travel for untold millions of years to reach Earth.
Instead, the camera will let them gather more data of the event as its
signal reaches Earth, sort of like upgrading from a single photograph
to a flipbook.
"DREAMS will allow us to 'see' the universe in an entirely new way,"