The MWA will survey the sky more deeply than ever before in a bid to detect faint signals from the Epoch of Reionisation, occurring within the first billion years after the Big Bang, when cool atomic hydrogen gas was heated and ionised by the universe's first light-emitting objects.
Cathryn Trott and her team at the Curtin (University) Institute of Radio Astronomy have proposed a more accurate method of understanding bright foreground noise that may be obscuring scientists' views of these very faint signals, the Astrophysical Journal reports.
"As with everything, there is a balance to strike; the more sensitive our telescopes, the more signals we are picking up. However, not all signals are of the desired cosmic origin and are actually a contamination of our data from the bright universe we see today," Trott said, according to a Curtin statement.
Trott said the previous work wasn't able to define the precise impact of the bright foreground signals on the ability to measure the Reionisation signal.
"As a community, we are beginning to develop some extremely sophisticated methods for finding the needle in the haystack - detecting this crucial period in the early universe - and the timing is perfect with the arrival of these exciting new telescopes," she said.