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WALLABY survey jumping back in time with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder

Researchers from the international ‘WALLABY’ survey team have taken the reins of the new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope and collected hundreds of hours of Early Science observations.
The first results are already revealing more about the distribution of neutral hydrogen gas in galaxies near and far, like the IC 5201 galaxy in the southern constellation of Grus (The Crane).  Such detailed imaging capabilities are crucial for understanding the processes governing the cosmos.
These images and more of WALLABY’s latest findings will be presented at CASCA 2017 by CSIRO’s Dr. Karen Lee-Waddell on 31 May 2017 at 12:00 pm.
Karen, a Canadian living in Sydney, Australia for the past 20 months, says these results show that ASKAP is already producing great science even while the instrument is in its early science phase.
“ASKAP uses cutting edge technology that enables astronomers to quickly survey large areas of the sky and detect some of the faintest galaxies over hundreds of millions of light years away,” said Dr. Lee-Waddell.
“While only using a portion of its full capabilities during this preliminary period, ASKAP is already showing great promise and making new discoveries,” she said.
Once fully operational, ASKAP is planned to conduct several extensive sky surveys – covering key science areas such as galaxy formation and gas evolution across cosmic time, characterization of variable sources, and the evolution of magnetic fields in galaxies – all with the intent to unravel some of the fundamental mysteries of our Universe.
One of the top two ranked surveys is the Wide-field ASKAP L-Band Legacy All-Sky Blind surveY (WALLABY; PIs B. Koribalski & L. Staveley-Smith), which has a research team of more than 100 scientists from around the world, including several Canadian collaborators.

Over the next couple of years, WALLABY will survey 75% of the entire sky and is predicted to detect hydrogen gas in well over half a million galaxies.

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