Telescope Array Timelapse

This time-lapse video of the Telescope Array shows what a typical night at the site looks like.  The surface array covers over 300 square miles of desert in Southern Utah and has three telescope stations like the one pictured in the video.  The high desert provides an ideal location for the telescopes, allowing them to spot the flashes of  ultraviolet light that occur when cosmic rays pass through the atmosphere, creating particle showers.

Because the flashes of ultraviolet light are so dim, the telescopes use giant parabolic mirrors to focus the light onto the fluorescence detectors.  During the day, the telescopes are kept behind closed doors to protect the sensitive equipment from sunlight, as the mirrors would focus the light into a dangerously hot beam. On dark nights, however, the doors are opened and the telescopes begin collecting data.