Strange radio waves from the centre of the galaxy

In the West Australian desert, an array of radio telescopes has spotted strange radio signals emanating from somewhere near the heart of the Milky Way. These signals don’t fit any known patterns produced by familiar radio sources such as pulsars, quasars or radio galaxies. Instead, astronomers think they could come from a new type of … Continue reading Strange radio waves from the centre of the galaxy

Mapping the southern skies

In 2022, the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder Telescope in WA will embark on a massive project to map the southern skies in radio waves. This survey, the Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU), will help us understand how the first stars and galaxies formed and evolved. Cosmos spoke to Dr Michael Cowley, an astrophysicist … Continue reading Mapping the southern skies

Dancing ghosts

By Ray Norris, Western Sydney University Scanning through data fresh off the telescope, we saw two ghosts dancing deep in the cosmos. We had never seen anything like it before, and we had no idea what they were. Several weeks later, we had figured out we were seeing two radio galaxies, about a billion light-years … Continue reading Dancing ghosts

New and detailed atlas of the skies

A new radio telescope in outback Western Australia has just created an atlas of the southern sky in record-breaking time, demonstrating that detailed all-sky surveys can now be done in weeks instead of years. Over just 300 hours, CSIRO’s Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) mapped three million galaxies, one million of which we’d never … Continue reading New and detailed atlas of the skies

Astronomers find source of four radio bursts

Fast radio bursts are one of the biggest mysteries in astronomy. The immensely powerful bursts of radiation appear randomly from points in the Universe. They flash without warning, releasing as much energy in the blink of an eye as our Sun will emit in 80 years. They can’t be predicted, and usually occur only once, … Continue reading Astronomers find source of four radio bursts

Engineering the Square Kilometre Array

The largest, most powerful telescope ever conceived – the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), is going to have over a hundred thousand radiotelescopes spread across Australia and South Africa. Its purpose – to look further out into the universe, and further back in time, than any telescope before. It is, quite simply, the biggest astronomy project … Continue reading Engineering the Square Kilometre Array