The Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), a radio telescope located just outside Western Australia, drew galaxies in just 300 hours, or 12.5 days. This is a significant increase from the previous survey, which took several years.
The result is the cosmos, according to the Australian scientific organization CSIRO, which developed and operated the telescope.
CSIRO CEO Larry Marshall said in a statement on Tuesday: “ASKAP is applying the latest scientific and technological advances to the ancient question of the mysteries of the universe and astronomers around the world with new discoveries to solve their challenges.”
It is the first time ASKAP has been fully tested. The new map covers 83% of the entire sky and shows our galaxy in unprecedented detail.
Scientists also expect to encounter tens of trillions of galaxies in future ASKAP exploration, said CSIRO astronomer and astronomer David McConnell.
Astronomers around the world will be able to use the data to “explore the unknown and study everything from the formation of stars to how galaxies and their giant holes evolve and interact”.
Preliminary results were published on Tuesday in the Australian Astronomical Society.
ASKAP consists of 36 antennas, which work together to capture panoramic images of the sky. The high quality of the camera’s TV receiver means that the team only needed a combination of 903 images to create a full-blown sky map – compared to the previous survey, which required thousands of images.
The new data will enable astronomers to perform statistical analysis of the galaxies of large populations, helping them to understand how the universe has evolved and structured.
“ASKAP is an important technological development that puts our scientists, engineers and industry in the driver’s seat,” said Karen Andrews, Australia’s Minister of Industry, Science and Technology.