Peering deep into space

The device was assembled at the McMurdo scientific research station in Antarctica.CORAL GABLES, FL, FL (May 27, 2009)–People have always wondered where we, our Earth, our galaxy, come from. A group of scientist has now driven that quest one step further and taken a peak at how the stars that gave rise to most of the material found on our universe formed over cosmic history.

University of Miami professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, Joshua Gundersen is part of an international research team that built an innovative new telescope called BLAST (Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope) and launched it to the edge of the atmosphere, where it discovered previously unidentified dust-obscured, star-forming galaxies that could help illuminate the origins of the universe.

"BLAST has given us a unique picture into the development of other galaxies and the earliest stages of star formation of our own Milky Way," Gundersen explains. "The light we’re getting from these submillimeter galaxies is from a time when they were first forming. In a sense, it’s like getting a baby picture."

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