Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) maps millions of galaxies
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Space; Sci & Tech
- The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) has recently mapped over three million galaxies in a record 300 hours during its first all-sky survey.
- ASKAP is a powerful telescope developed and operated by Australia’s science agency CSIRO.
- ASKAP is currently conducting pilot surveys of the sky before it can begin large-scale projects from 2021 onward.
- ASKAP surveys are designed to map the structure and evolution of the Universe, which it does by observing galaxies and the hydrogen gas that they contain.
- One of its most important features is its wide field of view.
- It has been able to take panoramic pictures of the sky in great detail.
- The telescope uses novel technology of a “radio camera” to achieve high survey speeds and consists of 36 dish antennas, which are each 12m in diameter.
- The present Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS) taken by the ASKAP telescope is like a “Google map” of the Universe where most of the millions of star-like points are distant galaxies, about a million of which have not been seen before.