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15th of December 2016
Finding the unknowns in the Universe
by Ray Norris (CASS)
Most of the big discoveries in astronomy (e.g. pulsars, quasars, dark energy) were unexpected, and often made by an astronomer breaking new ground in the observational parameter space while looking for something else. The ASKAP surveys such as EMU and WALLABY will also be boldly going where no telescope has gone before, and so should stumble across major discoveries, but the large data volumes make it difficult for a human to find them. So we are designing a machine astronomer, called WTF (Widefield ouTlier Finder) to sift through the petabytes of data looking for the unexpected. More details here: A machine astronomer could help us find the unknowns in the universe and Discovering the Unexpected in Astronomical Survey Data.

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