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EMU is a large project which will use the new ASKAP telescope to make a census of radio sources in the sky. We currently know of about 2.5 million radio sources, and EMU will detect about 70 million, Most of these radio sources will be galaxies millions of light years away, many containing massive black holes, and some of the signals we detect will have been sent less than half a billion years after the Big Bang, which created the Universe 13.7 billion years ago. The reason for doing this is to try to understand how the stars and galaxies were first formed, and how they evolved to their present state, where planets and people are formed. The idea of doing this census is so that we can catch galaxies in all their different stages of evolution, and try to place them in sequence, and so study how their properties change as they evolve. 

Potential participants are invited to join the team, and will then have the opportunity to participate in designing the parameters and processes of the survey, participate in the commissioning and quality control, and co-author the resulting Key Science Papers.

All radio data from the survey will be placed in the public domain as soon the data quality has been checked. An integral part of the proposed project will be to perform identifications with other wavelengths, and produce catalogs of these and other “added-value” data products.

EMU differs from earlier radio surveys in three key respects:

  • Scale: EMU increases the number of known radio sources by a factor of about 30
  • Type of galaxy:  about half the galaxies will be normal SF galaxies, and half will be Active Galactic Nuclei
  • Ambition: EMU includes:
    • Cross-identification with optical/IR catalogues
    • Obtaining ancillary data (redshifts etc)
    • Planning Key science projects as an integral part of the project
    • The WTF (discovering the unexpected) project

For more information:

About the banner above: The banner is a representation of the "emu in the sky", which is an important dreaming-spirit of the Aboriginal traditional owners of the land on which ASKAP will be built. For more information on this image, see http://www.atnf.csiro.au/research/AboriginalAstronomy/Examples/emu.htm

This page last updated by Ray Norris 7-Nov-2008


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