Astronomers in Australia have simply mapped 83% of the observable universe, in simply 300 hours.
This new sky survey, which Australia’s nationwide science company (CSIRO) described in a press release as a “Google map of the universe” , marks the completion of a giant take a look at for the Australian Sq. Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope –- a community of 36 antennas rooted within the distant Western Australia Outback. Whereas astronomers have been utilizing ASKAP to scour the sky for radio signatures (together with mysterious quick radio bursts) since 2012, the telescope’s full array of antennas has by no means been utilized in a single sky survey –- till now.
By harnessing the telescope’s full potential, researchers mapped roughly 3 million galaxies within the southern sky, in keeping with a paper revealed Nov. 30 within the journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia. As many as 1 million of those distant galaxies could also be beforehand unknown to astronomy, the researchers wrote, and that is probably just the start. With the success of this primary survey, CSIRO scientists are already planning much more in-depth observations within the coming years.
Associated: Scientists unveil largest 3D map of the universe ever
“For the primary time, ASKAP has flexed its full muscular tissues, constructing a map of the universe in better element than ever earlier than, and at file velocity,” lead research writer David McConnell, a CSIRO astronomer, mentioned in a press release. “We look forward to finding tens of hundreds of thousands of latest galaxies in future surveys.”
Many all-sky surveys can take months, even years, to finish. CSIRO’s new effort, which they’ve labeled the Speedy ASKAP Continuum Survey, solely took a couple of weeks of stargazing. Whereas every of the telescope’s 36 receivers took huge, panoramic photos of the sky, a devoted community of supercomputers labored double-time to mix them. The ensuing map, which covers 83% of the sky, is a mixture of 903 particular person photographs, every containing 70 billion pixels. (For comparability, the highest-definition cameras on the market snap a couple of hundred million pixels per picture).
Every of those photographs will probably be made publicly accessible by CSIRO’s Knowledge Entry Portal, as scientists analyze the outcomes and plan for his or her subsequent sky-charting adventures.
Initially revealed on Stay Science.