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19th of February 2024
The lead banner to the article in The Conversation about the ASKAP detection local radio galaxies.
ASKAP discovers radio emission from local massive galaxies
An article in The Conversation by Michael Brown (Monash Uni) describes the use of the Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS) to detect radio waves from some very massive nearby galaxies that have previously gone undetected in the radio spectrum. It is believed that there are supermassive black holes in all the biggest galaxies, but are they always being "fed" by infalling matter to produce radio waves? That question motivated the team's study. To listen for radio waves from these enormous objects, the team used the ASKAP. Although the Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey is just a preliminary radio survey of 83% of the entire sky, it is already three times more sensitive than comparable surveys with the previous generation of radio telescopes. RACS revealed radio waves from all 40 of the most massive galaxies in the survey area. So, it appears all very massive galaxies emit radio waves, but their power varies. Determining how all this works will be a challenge, but there are now clues for astronomers to follow. These results were published in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

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