Australian Telescope Detects Radio Wave Sent By Galaxy Five Billion Years Ago

Australian Telescope Detects Radio Wave Sent By Galaxy Five Billion Years Ago
Space Sweetie187 / Flickr CC BY 2.0

One of Australia’s telescopes owned by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) detected a radio wave sent by a galaxy five billion light years away from Earth.


The radio wave signal was captured by the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP). CSIRO said in a statement it was galaxy PKS B1740-517, located near the constellation Ara, that emitted the signal.

CSIRO’s Dr James Allison said the research team stumbled on the discovery by chance. A radio emission travelling to Earth imprinted with hydrogen gas had created a small “dip” in the signal. Because it had no background radio noise, the telescope was able to pick it up.

The where ASKAP is located is exceptionally quiet. “At many observatories, this dip would have been hidden by background radio noise, but our site is so radio quiet it stood out clearly,” Allison said, adding the finding would allow greater glimpses in a period of history of the universe of which little is known.

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The telescope SKA Pathfinder is at the Murchison Radio-Astronomical Observatory, about 790 km northeast of Perth, a desert environment far from humans and other electrical activity.

Tech Times reports CSIRO is expected to launch another 30 satellites in 2016, citing Simon Johnston, head of astrophysics at CSIRO. The agency hopes to replicate the recent success. “The new discovery is just the tip of the iceberg of what scientists could find.”

Johnston also believed the ASKAP can be able to detect galaxies.