UBC telescope searching for clues to beginning of the universe

WATCH: It’s a strange-looking contraption: six telescopes bolted together and attached to a giant helium balloon. It’s nicknamed “Spider”. And as Linda Aylesworth reports, it might one day tell us how the universe was born.

Thirty-six kilometres above the earth, a telescope created in Canada is slowly circling Antarctica, hoping to find information that could unlock secrets of the galaxy.

A telescope, built in part by scientists from UBC and other universities across the world, is attached to a helium balloon. It launched on December 31 and is expected to be airborne for 20 days.

SPIDER is looking for patterns of polarization created immediately after the Big Bang.

“If we see [a] pattern, that’s a huge direct clue of the first tiny tiny fraction of a second in the history of the universe,” says Mark Halpern, a UBC professor who worked on SPIDER.

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