Norfolk Astrophysics Observatory Project

Cosmic Ray Telescope
Other Scientific Instrumentation

The Norfolk Astrophysics Observatory Project is the brainchild of Dr. Joseph Guth, a chemist/physicist who has had a life-long interest in cosmology, astrophysics, black holes and other exotic matter, theories of everything, and origin of life. He began to set up a modest astronomical observatory but soon expanded its capabilities to include astrophotography, astrospectroscopy, astrophotometry and cosmic ray research.

His efforts led him to design and build a unique type of cosmic ray telescope that is capable of mapping the deep space sources of extremely high energy cosmic rays (energy range approximately 10^14 to 10^20 electron volts). These extreme energies produce particles that are only weakly deflected by magnetic or gravitational fields in their nearly linear trajectories. They pass through miles of ordinary matter before coming to a rest but create highly ionized trails that simple detectors can respond to with the proper electronic and computer monitoring packages. Some of these sources already observed correspond to the Cygnus X-1 source and the supermassive black hole at the galactic center of the Milky Way galaxy.

Much remains to do to accomplish one of his primary goals for this research. Dr. Guth, as a chemist, finds that the real universe is more understandable if we start out with a full chemical analysis of such exotica. Thus, the closest supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*, may have its overall composition ultimately defined by the extremely high energy types and numbers of particles that are emitted from it through processes that are not yet fully understood. As the orbits of stars, small black holes and other matter eventually decay into Sag A*, a continuous and comprehensive monitoring of its particle emissions should begin to build up a history of its internal activities. Correlating those results with other simultaneous observations using different types of telescopes and electromagnetic wavelengths, it is hoped that a more dynamic and real understanding of how a galaxy is held together, different types of matter are created and destroyed, and its structure is maintained by this supermassive cosmic engine.

Inquiries are always welcome and discussions about these areas of research are invited. Please visit us from time to time as new materials and results are posted on this site. You never know when something special may by found.

Contact: Joseph H. Guth, Ph.D.
Norfolk Astrophysics Observatory Project

Where your mind meets the universe