The Telescope Array Project: A Photo Tour

Lon and Mary Watson Cosmic Ray Center

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The Lon and Mary Watson Cosmic Ray Center in Delta, Utah, is the base of operations for the Telescope Array (TA) project, which studies powerful particles from space called cosmic rays. Read the full story about touring the Cosmic Ray Center and seeing the TA experiment here.

Cosmic Ray Center

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The Cosmic Ray Center's visitor center provides a look at the art and science of cosmic rays.

Visitor Center

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The visitor center also hosts a memorial of a Japanese internment camp that was located not far from where the center is today.

Where Science Gets Done

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Through the visitor's center is a back room used mostly for storage, shown here. Further ahead is where the science gets done.


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Inside the building, two TA detectors sit in various states of assembly. The detectors contain light-sensitive equipment, so while they are under construction, they must be covered or sealed inside a box.

Julie Callahan

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Julie Callahan, who works for the University of Utah and does outreach for TA, demonstrates the handles that are used to open the large panels on top of the detectors. The heavy panels require at least two people to lift each one.


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A glimpse of the electronics within one of the detectors.


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The completed detectors are moved from the building into a muddy corral out back. They will remain here until they're transported part of the way to their final positions across the desert floor. The detectors are placed around a location 45 minutes from Delta, and are separated by as much as three-quarters of a mile (1,200 meters).

Lifting the Detector

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A local contractor uses a skid lift to load the detectors onto the trailer.

Bird Protection

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A few of the wires that keep birds from resting on the detectors came loose and needed to be reinstalled.


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Unloading the detectors from the trailers requires a crane.

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Nola Taylor Tillman
Contributing Writer

Nola Taylor Tillman is a contributing writer for She loves all things space and astronomy-related, and enjoys the opportunity to learn more. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English and Astrophysics from Agnes Scott college and served as an intern at Sky & Telescope magazine. In her free time, she homeschools her four children. Follow her on Twitter at @NolaTRedd