Southern Cosmology Survey

An NSF Supported PIRE Program


Combining Research and Education

We have embarked on a program that uses experimental, observational, numerical and theoretical tools to address these new questions. WMAP has measured the primordial microwave background radiation over the full sky with angular resolution of 1/3 of a degree; we are planning to map a smaller portion of the sky at much finer angular scales (1/30 of a degree) and with much higher sensitivity using the new Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT). This project is an NSF-funded collaboration between Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers, Goddard Space Flight Center, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Catolica University (Chile) and scientists at Columbia University, York College (CUNY), Cardiff University (UK), INAOE (Mexico), University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), the University of British Columbia, University of Toronto and Barcelona (Spain). The ACT collaboration is building a custom-designed microwave telescope outfitted with novel superconducting bolometer-array detectors. It will measure the microwave sky from the Atacama Desert of Chile, with the goal of probing a number of fundamental properties of the universe

The goal of our program is to enable a multi-national observational program to survey the ACT sky region with multiple optical telescopes based in South Africa and Chile.  The project will greatly enhance the scientific return from the ACT project, and will create a unique environment for training the next generation of extragalactic astronomers and cosmologists.