Tech & Science Meet SkyMapper, a cosmic treasure map made by Australian astronomers

22:12  02 february  2018
22:12  02 february  2018 Source:   Techly

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AUSSIE astronomers have created a cosmic treasure map that reveals hard-to-see celestial The map has been made available online for wannabe space explorers and was pieced together by the In 2014, ANU astronomers used early data taken with SkyMapper to discover the oldest known star in

The faintest objects visible in the final map will be more than one million times fainter than those visible to the naked human eye on a dark night.© Twitter/ @gmapsmania The faintest objects visible in the final map will be more than one million times fainter than those visible to the naked human eye on a dark night. Astronomers at the Australian National University in Canberra have created a comprehensive map of the entire southern sky that reveals even the hardest-to-see celestial objects.

The map was made using a whopping 270-megapixel camera built into the university’s cutting-edge automated wide-field survey telescope.

“The map of the southern sky we’ve released to the world today is the best ever created, but this is only the beginning of a five-year program to capture it in all its splendour,” Dr Christian Wolf from the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics told News.com.au.

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Yes, despite the extensive detail of this map, there is still plenty of the Cosmos to be explored.

“The final map will show stars and galaxies that are up to 50 times fainter than the limits of this map,” Dr Wolf added.

In fact, the faintest objects visible in the final map will be more than one million times fainter than those visible to the naked human eye on a dark night.

Back in 2014, ANU astronomers used early data taken with SkyMapper to discover a star that formed shortly after the Big Bang, making it the oldest known star in the universe, some 13.7 billion years old.

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Astronomers from the ANU have put together a short informative video about SkyMapper, which is absolutely worth checking out:

If you’re a space junkie, the early edition of the map is well worth checking out as you can search for coordinates and scout out celestial objects.

Researchers say the map is possible thanks to the range of colour bands available in the images.

Co-researcher Dr Christopher Onken said, “SkyMapper’s special filters probe light across a range of colours beyond what the human eye can see, reaching into the near-ultraviolet and the near-infra-red.

“This abundant colour information is crucially important to search for astronomical ‘needles in the haystack’ among the vast number of stars in this map.”

You can check out SkyMapper here.

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