The Telescope Array Project: A Photo Tour

Up in the Air

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One of the detectors is seen here, suspended by a crane.

Safety Check

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After transport, scientists check the equipment to make sure it wasn’t damaged. They will do this again after helicopters transport the SDs to their final destination.

Sensitive Parts

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Scientists also check the sensitive electronics before operations begin.

Home Sweet Home

Courtesy of the Telescope Array

A helicopter transports the detectors to their new home, where scientists will check the electronics before leaving them. This image is from the deployment of the first batch of TA detectors.

Photomultiplier Tubes

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The sensitive photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) capture and amplify light within the TA project's fluorescent telescopes. These telescopes look for ultraviolet light in the night sky that is created by cosmic-ray collisions with the atmosphere.


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For each mirror, 256 PMTs sit in a box. Light reflects from the mirror to the PMTs, which amplify the signal.

Cloverleaf Mirrors

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Callahan poses near one of the cloverleaf mirrors used in the fluorescent telescopes that look for flashes of light created when cosmic rays interact with atoms in Earth's atmosphere.

Sets of Mirrors

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Fourteen sets of mirrors are part of the Telescope Array, while another 10 make up the Telescope Array Low Energy Extension, an upgrade to the TA that will search for cosmic rays of lower energies.

Robert Cady

Courtesy of the Telescope Array

Robert Cady, an assistant research professor at the University of Utah who is working on the TA experiment, stands near one of the TA telescope mirrors after the sun has gone down.

Fluorescent Telescopes

Courtesy of the Telescope Array

After the sun sets over the desert, the fluorescent telescopes go to work.

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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