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UNAM y NASA lanzarán telescopio para observar rayos cósmicos en el espacio

Ciudad de México. La Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) diseña y construye junto con otras instituciones internacionales, y bajo la supervisión de la NASA un telescopio refractor de un metro de diámetro para observar rayos cósmicos de muy altas energías en el espacio cercano.

Se trata del instrumento EUSO-SPB (Extreme Universe Space Observatory on a Super Pressure Balloon), de un metro de diámetro, con una sofisticada superficie focal de alta resolución temporal,

Estos rayos cósmicos son las partículas que viajan por el espacio a velocidades cercanas a la de la luz, y se producen en algunos de los eventos más violentos del Universo. Cuando estas partículas llegan al planeta Tierra chocan con las moléculas de aire, y producen una luz fluorescente, igual a una lámpara de neón.

En el diseño del telescopio también participaron un grupo de países de la Colaboración EUSO: Alemania, Estados Unidos, Francia, Italia, Japón y Polonia.

Tiene su propio sistema de potencia basado en paneles solares y está preparado para resistir a condiciones ambientales rigurosas y a excursiones imprevistas que puedan llevarlo desde la Antártida hasta regiones tropicales.

Dicho instrumento circulará alrededor de la Tierra por 100 días, volando a 33 kilómetros de altura, a latitudes de entre 35 y 60 grados sobre el hemisferio sur y será lanzado por la NASA en un globo de súper presión desde Wanaka, Nueva Zelanda.

Además, ya pasó favorablemente la revisión que lo califica como apto para el vuelo y en cuanto se den las condiciones meteorológicas apropiadas se realizará el lanzamiento, programado para esta misma semana.

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