Meeting MIRI and Detecting Dark Matter

25 January 2012

Can a mid-infra red view reveal the universe's secrets? In this month's Naked Astronomy, we meet MIRI, the Mid Infra Red Instrument set to launch on the James Webb Space Telescope. It should give us a glimpse of the very first galaxies and examine the clouds of hydrogen gas spread throughout the universe. We'll also find out how distorted galaxies can shed light on the distribution of dark matter, discover El Gordo - a newly discovered galaxy cluster.

In this episode

01:01 - Distortions Detect Dark Matter

Gravitational lensing is allowing us to detect things we otherwise wouldn't be able to see. Oxford University’s Dr Lance Miller explains to Andrew Pontzen how we can use distortions...

Distortions Detect Dark Matter
with Dr Lance Miller, Oxford University

Gravitational lensing is allowing us to detect things we otherwise wouldn't be able to see.  Oxford University's Dr Lance Miller explains to Andrew Pontzen how we can use distortions caused by the gravitational pull of dark matter to explore its distribution...

12:39 - Astronomical Imaging, NEOShield and the Aurora

Robert Massey returns with a roundup of news from the Royal Astronomical Society. This month; The history of astronomical imaging, Near Earth Objects and Auroras above northern Britain...

Astronomical Imaging, NEOShield and the Aurora
with Dr Robert Massey, Royal Astronomical Society

Robert Massey returns with a roundup of news from the Royal Astronomical Society.  This month; The history of astronomical imaging, Near Earth Objects and Auroras above northern Britain...

24:04 - Introducing El Gordo, the largest distant galaxy cluster

El Gordo, or "ACT-CL J0102-4915" as it's officially known, is the largest, most distant galaxy cluster ever discovered. At over seven billion light years away, it's...

Introducing El Gordo, the largest distant galaxy cluster

El Gordo, or "ACT-CL J0102-4915" as it's officially known, is the largest, most distant galaxy cluster ever discovered.  At over  seven billion light years away, it's extremely distant, but extremely interesting....

28:44 - Adding a Leap Second

The date has been set for the next leap second – June 30th 2012. Leap seconds help to keep our incredibly accurate atomic clocks in line with the varying length of the Earth day. But...

Adding a Leap Second

The date has been set for the next leap second - June 30th 2012.  Leap seconds help to keep our incredibly accurate atomic clocks in line with the varying length of the Earth day.  But there is debate around whether we need them at all...

47:12 - Meeting MIRI - The Mid Infra Red Instrument

The Mid Infra Red Instrument, or MIRI, is due to fly on the James Webb Space Telescope, and will observe distant galaxies and cold gas and dust. It can observe light with a wavelength of 5...

Meeting MIRI - The Mid Infra Red Instrument
with Dr Helen Walker, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

The Mid Infra Red Instrument, or MIRI, is due to fly on the James Webb Space Telescope, and will observe distant galaxies and cold gas and dust.  It can observe light with a wavelength of 5 to 27 microns, which is virtually impossible on Earth, where it is absorbed by the atmosphere.  MIRI hopes to see the most distant galaxies and shed light on the distribution of hydrogen gas in the universe...

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