New MeerKAT Telescope Reveals Nearly 1300 New Galaxies

Posted on July 18, 2016

The new MeerKAT telescope in South Africa identified nearly 1300 previously unknown galaxies in a small portion of the distant universe. Astronomers say the MeerKAT First Light image shows more than 1300 galaxies in the distant Universe, compared to just 70 known in this location. The white dots.

Professor Justin Jonas, SKA South Africa Chief Technologist, says in a statement, "Based on the results being shown today, we are confident that after all 64 dishes are in place, MeerKAT will be the world's leading telescope of its kind until the advent of SKA."

MeerKAT is a precursor to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). It is being used today with 16 dishes. It will consist of of 64 dishes when it is completed at the end of 2017. MeerKAT is part of the sensitive SKA Phase 1 array. SKA1 MID will include an additional 133 dishes. The SKA is an international effort to build the world's largest radio telescope. It will be one hundred times more sensitive than any current radio telescope.

Dr Fernando Camilo, SKA South Africa Chief Scientist, says, "The scientists gathered at the May meeting were impressed to see what 4 MeerKAT dishes could do. They will be astonished at today's exceptionally beautiful images, which demonstrate that MeerKAT has joined the big leagues of world radio astronomy."

You can find hi-res versions of the new images acquired by MeerKAT here.

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