If you thought 2020 was strange, think again. It’s about to get a whole lot stranger.
The universe has opened up more possibilities than we could ever have imagined as millions of never-seen-before galaxies have just been discovered.
Thanks to a group of innovative astronomers surveying nearly the entire sky in record speed and detail, a new atlas of the universe has been created.
The brains behind CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, have unearthed 3million galaxies by mapping them with their world-leading radio telescope.
Their special equipment, coined the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, created ‘a Google map of the universe’ that illustrates where stars and distant galaxies are situated.
While the breath-taking discovery may pose more questions than answers, the company’s Chief Executive, Dr. Larry Marshall, said they are discovering information that can change lives.
Speaking about their new findings, Marshall said: “The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder [ASKAP] is applying the very latest in science and technology to age-old questions about the mysteries of the universe and equipping astronomers around the world with new breakthroughs to solve their challenges.”
Using cutting-edge technology, the telescope generates more raw data at a faster rate than Australia’s entire internet traffic.
Marshall added: “In a time when we have access to more data than ever before, ASKAP and the supercomputers that support it are delivering unparalleled insights and wielding the tools that will underpin our data-driven future to make life better for everybody.”
The key to their success is that radio telescopes are proving to have outstanding astronomy capability; they operate with a specialised antenna and radio receiver that is used to detect radio waves from astronomical radio sources in the sky.
The CSIRO telescope’s key feature is its wide field of view that enables it to take panoramic pictures of the sky in magnificent detail.
Meanwhile, an optical telescope gathers and focuses light, mainly from the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, to create a magnified image for a spectator’s view.
Previously, an all-sky survey would have taken years, yet this took less than a fortnight, meaning shorter timeframes can create new and more frequent opportunities for discovery.
And judging by the team’s excitement, they are only just scratching the surface to unveil what else lies in the beyond.