Talk about deep space photography using radio telescopes…
It seems like a network of more than 70,000 radio telescopes aka Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) has been busy capturing images of the deep space for the last 10 years and all for good reason. The images help researchers get an in-depth look at the space and its surrounding phenomena which wouldn’t be possible using a normal optical telescope. “Regions of space that seem dark to our eyes, actually burn brightly in radio waves — allowing astronomers to peer into star-forming regions or into the heart of galaxies themselves,” said a statement released by the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (Astron), which manages LOFAR.
Now those stunning high-resolution images captured by LOFAR have been released to the public and include a detailed look at different galaxies and massive black holes that are scattered up in space. One particular image that caught the attention of the public is of a supermassive black hole known as Hercules A as it shoots out jets of gas.
In recent years, researchers have been trying to democratize the use of European network of LOFAR telescopes so it can be used by scientists and astronomers from all around the world. Dr. Leah Morabito, assistant professor of physics at Durham University in England, said in the statement, “Our aim is that this allows the scientific community to use the whole European network of LOFAR telescopes for their own science, without having to spend years to become an expert.” As more and more of these advanced tools are available for more people to use and experiment with, it would surely create a huge impact on the future of deep space discoveries. Start researching space enthusiast, it’ll soon be your time to shine!