May 27, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft To Measure Brightness Of The Universe

Apr 13, 2017 03:45 AM EDT

The New Horizons spacecraft by NASA has handed scientists a number of important information which is deemed useful for measuring the brightness of the universe. The spacecraft gathered this information during its mission to Pluto and it continues to do the same while approaching the Kuiper Belt.

According to Rochester Institute of Technology, researchers have used the data collected from the archives of the instrument dubbed LORRI (Long Range Reconnaissance Imager) present on the New Horizons spacecraft for measuring the brightness of light visible from other galaxies. The findings from the spacecraft give the researchers a clear idea of the upper limit of the amount of light in the cosmic optical background, which is beyond the Milky Way Galaxy.

As per the research on New Horizons spacecraft, light from the cosmic optical background can reveal the number and location of stars. It also gives an understanding of how galaxies work and provide insights about the strange kind of physical processes present in the universe. One of the strange physical processes is the emission of light on the destruction of the dark matter, which is assumed to comprise 85 percent of matter present in the universe.

According to United Press International, Before the New Horizons spacecraft, researchers found it very difficult to measure the light emitted from the cosmic optical background due to the reflection of Sunlight off planetary dust present in the space. With the help of the LORRI instrument, Researchers observed that the outer layers of the solar system help to measure the universal light in a more accurate way.

Generally, spacecraft plying to the outer limits of the solar system are not meant to take measurements by targeting planets, dwarfs planets, asteroids and comets or satellites. However, researchers are hopeful that in the near future, New Horizons spacecraft and projectiles on missions to outer space will be carrying instruments for surveying activities beyond the solar system.

Researchers opine that close survey of the phenomena by the New Horizons spacecraft in the outer space will help in measuring the definite amount of light emitted in the local universe. It will also help understand the factors behind the restriction of light coming from the galaxies on various wavebands. The study has been published in the journal "Nature Communications".

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