An international team of astronomers used very sensitive radio images to find the galaxies of thousands of stars in the early days of the universe.
Scientists collected the images using the International Radio Antenna Network’s International Low Frequency Telescope (Loafer).
It integrates the signals of more than 70,000 antennas and is located at stations in the Netherlands and European partner countries, including the United Kingdom.
The team observed the same areas of the sky over and over again, combining data and creating very long exposures, detecting faint radio radiation with stars and exploding into distant distances into tens of thousands of galaxies like supernovae. .
More than four petabytes of raw data were captured and processed for image production, equivalent to one million DVDs.
“When we look at the sky with a radio telescope, the brightest objects we see come out of giant black holes in the center of the galaxy,” said Philip Bestz of the University of Edinburgh, who led the study in depth.
However, our images are very deep, and most objects contain galaxies similar to our Milky Way, which emit weak radio waves that follow the continuous formation of stars.
“Loafer’s high sensitivity and the celestial sphere we surveyed – 300 times the size of the full moon – allowed us to find tens of thousands of galaxies, such as the Milky Way, a distant universe.
“Light from these galaxies traveled billions of years to reach Earth – which means galaxies formed billions of years ago, as did most of their stars.”
Isabella Brandoni, a team member from the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics in Bologna, added: “The formation of stars is usually surrounded by dust, which blocks our vision when viewed with an optical telescope. Radio waves penetrate the dust, so with the loafer we get the complete picture of the star formation. “
The loafer is operated by Astron, the Dutch Institute of Radio Astronomy.
The United Kingdom is a project partner country with Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.
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