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LOFAR

Astronomers mapping outer space say the final frontier just got even more far-flung

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WASHINGTON (CIRCA via MOBIUS.LAB) — An international team of more than 200 astronomers has discovered hundreds of thousands of galaxies.

They created a map of 2 percent of the night sky over the Northern Hemisphere using a radio telescope. The low-frequency array (LOFAR) telescope is made up of a network of radio antennae through seven countries in Europe.

YouTube: LOFAR Survey

LOFAR lets astronomers detect traces of radiation and jets emitted by black holes.

Unlike the Hubble Space Telescope, which uses higher frequencies of light, making it harder to observe older, distant galaxies, radio telescopes reveal previously unseen light sources 11-12 billion light-years old.

"With radio observations we can detect radiation from the tenuous medium that exists between galaxies," University of Hamburg's Amanda Wilber said in a statement provided by the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. "This radiation is generated by energetic shocks and turbulence. LOFAR allows us to detect many more of these sources and understand what is powering them."

Radio observation will allow scientists to see the oldest objects in the universe, and might explain the evolution of galaxies and the physics of black holes.

The universe as we know it just expanded, and this is only the beginning.

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