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Australia Blows Science’s Collective Mind by Mapping 3 Million Galaxies in 300 Hours


Reprinted with permission from World in general, a news website on nature, politics, science, health and travel.

The world’s leading CSIRO telescope in Australia has mapped the entire southern sky in astonishing detail and record time, identifying 3 million never-before-seen galaxies in just 300 hours.

Announced on December 1 by the Australian national scientific agency CSIRO, the achievement has quickly made headlines around the world for producing a new atlas of the universe.

Previous telescopic surveys of the entire sky of the cosmos have taken years and required tens of thousands of images to assemble.

The telescope, known as the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a collection of 36 radio parabolic antennas in the western interior spread over 4,000 square meters that work together to stitch together high-resolution images to create panoramic photographs of the universe. .

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High resolution is different for ASKAP than it is for your iPhone, and the 903 eventual images that were needed to create the new atlas are made up of 70 billion pixels that is equivalent to 26 terabytes of data according to CSIRO. This monumental payload, which started out as 13.5 “exabytes,” was processed by a supercomputer called the “Galaxy” at the Pawsey Supercomputing Center.


“ASKAP is applying the latest in science and technology to ancient questions about the mysteries of the Universe and equipping astronomers around the world with new advancements to solve their challenges,” says Dr. Larry Marshall, CEO of CSIRO.

3 million new galaxies is a lot of territory to explore, so presumably ASKAP is just getting started.

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“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 supermassive black holes evolve and interact,” said lead author and CSIRO astronomer the Dr. David McConnell. said in a statement.

He went on to suggest that potentially tens of millions of galaxies are waiting to be discovered with this new telescope / supercomputer pairing in the future.

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