A new map of the night sky has just been made public for the first time. The photo, which was released by scientists at Durham University, shows an incredibly detailed image of millions of galaxies and space objects.
Many of the 4.4 million galaxies captured in the photo contain massive black holes or are spawning new stars at high speed. According to the scientists, most of the grains of light visible in the image are billions of light-years from Earth. Some of the rarest objects captured in the image include colliding galaxies and blazing stars in the Milky Way.
The researchers used a European radio telescope to capture 3,500 hours of observations, enough data to fill 20,000 laptops. They discovered almost a million new objects.
“Each time we create a map, our screens are filled with new discoveries and objects that have never been seen before by human eyes,” said astronomer Timothy Shimwell of ASTRON and the University of Leiden in a statement. “This publication represents only 27% of the entire investigation and we anticipate that it will lead to many more scientific breakthroughs in the future.”
“We have opened the door to new discoveries with this project, and future work… will post-process the data at 20 times better resolution,” added Durham University scientist Dr Leah Morabito.