News of the WeekAstronomy

Researchers Get Spectrum Bands

Science  23 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5474, pp. 2107-2109
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5474.2107

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Radio astronomers have been in danger of losing a precious band of the electromagnetic spectrum--the millimeter wavelengths, which promise insight into subjects as diverse as the origins of life and the birth of stars--to the burgeoning telecommunications industry, as millimeter wavelengths also look promising for transmitting high-bandwidth wireless information over relatively short distances. Earlier this month, however, astronomers won an international agreement that guarantees critical wavelengths safe for research.