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1st of December 2020
The Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS)
ASKAP has completed its first sky survey in record speed and detail, mapping approximately three million galaxies in just 300 hours. Using ASKAP at CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in outback Western Australia, the survey team observed 83 per cent of the entire sky. The initial results from the Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey are published today in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia. “This census of the Universe will be used by astronomers around the world to explore the unknown and study everything from star formation to how galaxies and their super-massive black holes evolve and interact,” lead author David McConnell said. “For the first time ASKAP has flexed its full muscles, building a map of the Universe in greater detail than ever before, and at record speed. We expect to find tens of millions of new galaxies in future surveys.” The 13.5 exabytes of raw data generated by ASKAP were processed using hardware and software custom-built by CSIRO. The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre's 'Galaxy' supercomputer converted the data into 2D radio images containing a total of 70 billion pixels. The final 903 images and supporting information amount to 26 terabytes of data. The images and catalogues from the survey will be made publicly available through the CSIRO Data Access Portal and hosted at Pawsey. More details are available from the RACS webpages.

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