Astronomers release map of thousands of unknown galaxies


Astronomers have charted hundreds of thousands of previously undetected galaxies in a map released Tuesday.“This is a new window on the universe,” Cyril Tasse, an astronomer with the Paris Observatory-PSL, told Agence France-Presse.

“When we saw the first images we were like: ‘What is this?!’ It didn’t look anything at all like what we are used to seeing,” he said.

To create the map, the team of more than 200 astronomers from 18 countries used a high-tech telescope capable of detecting otherwise invisible light sources.

They aimed the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope network (a small part of which is pictured, inset) at a segment of the night sky in the northern hemisphere and uncovered 300,000 never-before-seen light sources, thought to be distant galaxies.

The telescope picks up traces of radiation produced when galaxies merged —from as far back as millions of light years ago.“The oldest objects in the universe are around 11-12 billion light years old,” Tasse said. “So we are going to see lots more of these objects.”

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