Australian scientists have mapped a million new galaxies and created “a new atlas of the universe” using an advanced telescope found in the Western Australian desert.
The Commonwealth of Nations Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) said they managed to create the atlas in record time, showing unprecedented detail.
The telescope mapped a total of three million galaxies, with images revealing twice the level of detail from previous surveys, according to the CSIRO study.
Astronomers hope the images will lead to new discoveries about the universe .
CSIRO said the mapping took only 300 hours , while previous studies of the entire sky took years.
With the publicly available data, scientists around the world could study “everything from star formation to how galaxies and their supermassive black hole evolve and interact,” said the study’s lead author, astronomer David McConnell.
“We hope to find tens of millions of new galaxies in future studies,” he added.
Initial results were published Tuesday in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.
What is this telescope like?
Australia’s Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a collection of 36 satellite dishes that work together to take panoramic images of the sky.
The system is located in the southern hemisphere, in the remote interior of Western Australia. It spans an area of 6 km at CSIRO’s Murchison Observatory, about 700 km north of Perth.
By combining signals from smaller satellite dishes, the telescope creates high-resolution images at a fraction of the cost of a very large satellite dish, CSIRO said.
The huge volumes of data generated at a rate faster than all traffic i nternet of Australia , are then sent to processing facilities in Perth supercomputers to create the images.
What have you discovered?
Askap conducted its first survey of the entire sky this year, covering 83% of the sky and three million galaxies in total.
The map was put together using only 903 highly detailed images. Previous studies have required tens of thousands to complete an image of the sky.
Astronomers said the depth and scale were exciting because by cataloging the millions of galaxies beyond the Milky Way, they can perform statistical analysis. These can help to understand how the universe evolved and how it is structured.
The Askap telescope is one of the forerunners of an international project to build the world’s largest radio telescope, the Square Kilometer Array, to be located in South Africa and Australia.