Sydney, Australia, Dec 1 (efe-epa).- Australian scientists have created an atlas of the universe in record time using a powerful new telescope, authorities reported Tuesday.
The Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) mapped 3 million galaxies in 300 hours, the country’s national science agency and developer of the telescope, CSIRO, said in a statement.
This celestial atlas, likened to a Google Map of the universe, also revealed the existence of around a million stars never seen before.
“This census of the Universe will be used by astronomers around the world to explore the unknown and study everything from star formation to how galaxies and their super-massive black holes evolve and interact,” CSIRO astronomer Dr David McConnell said.
Using the ASKAP at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in outback Western Australia, some 700 kilometers north of the southeastern city of Perth, scientists were able to observe 83 percent of the entire sky, the statement said.
“For the first time ASKAP has flexed its full muscles, building a map of the Universe in greater detail than ever before, and at record speed. We expect to find tens of millions of new galaxies in future surveys,” McConnell, lead author of the study released in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia on Tuesday, added.
The result proves that an all-sky survey can be done “in weeks rather than years” and the team only needed to combine 903 images to form a full map of the sky, rather than the tens of thousands of images needed for other surveys conducted by major world telescopes.
The ASKAP generated 13.5 exabytes of raw data, which was converted into 2D radio images containing 70 billion pixels, with the final 903 images and supporting information holding 26 terabytes of data.
“It’s all enabled by innovative receivers developed by CSIRO that feature phased array feed technology, which see ASKAP generate more raw data at a faster rate than Australia’s entire internet traffic,” CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said.
“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,” he added. EFE-EPA