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.
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.
Yesterday the biggest sky survey ever by @LOFAR was released. What are some of the most special findings in the survey? To our project scientist Tim Shimwell the most special part is that 90% of the sources that have never been detected before. https://t.co/CjsG9silrJ pic.twitter.com/Dj9YfVEBqU— Low Frequency Array (@LOFAR) February 20, 2019
"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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