University of Utah Opens Cosmic Ray Visitors Center in Delta

The University of Utah has opened a visitors center at a multi-institution cosmic ray observatory, known as the Telescope Array, it oversees in Millard County.

On Wednesday at 1 p.m., the Department of Physics and Astronomy is hosting an open house at the center in Delta, which will be open most weekdays 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It is located at 648 W. Main St. inside the observatory’s headquarters.

It features displays about the history of cosmic ray research in Utah and about the Telescope Array, which is spread across the desert west of Delta. The center also includes a display about the nearby Topaz internment camp, where U.S. citizens of Japanese descent were imprisoned during World War II. The Telescope Array, the largest cosmic ray detector in North America, is an international collaboration of more than 30 research institutions from the United States, Japan, Korea, Russia and Belgium.

The visitors center’s posters and other displays explain how the observatory detects cosmic ray events using two methods: three fluorescence detectors record faint flashes when cosmic rays collide with atmospheric gases, and more than 500 scintillation detectors record "air shower" particles resulting from those collisions.


© Salt Lake Tribune 2011