Fox 13 News reports on Telescope Array Expansion

John Matthews showing the telescope array to Fox 13 News

Fox 13 News recently ran a story featuring the plans to expand the Telescope Array near Delta, Utah.  Dr John Matthews showed the reporters around the fluorescence detectors, explaining how the honeycomb of mirrors is able to capture the faint ultraviolet light given off during extensive air showers and reflect it back to densely clustered photomultiplier tubes that register the event.

The Telescope Array sits on land supervised by the Bureau of Land Management.  The BLM is currently looking for public comment on the proposal to expand the footprint of the experiment.

The goal of the expansion is to continue research into the cosmic ray hotspot, an area beneath the constellation Ursa Major emitting a disproportionate amount of cosmic rays.  The discovery of this hotspot puts scientists closer to finding the sources of the mysterious particles, which constantly bombard every square meter of the earth's surface, seemingly from all directions.

Expanding the array of surface detectors is no small endeavor.  Due to the remote location of the experiment, the detectors must be flown in by helicopter to their final locations in the Southern Utah desert.  The planned expansion will increase the total area of the detectors by a factor of four, increasing the accuracy with which scientists can pinpoint the origin of incoming cosmic rays.