A stunning image captured by researchers from Australian National University (ANU) and the Australian national science agency, CSIRO, shows one of the Milky Way‘s closest neighbors in new details.
Lead author of the study, Dr Nickolas Pingel, says it is the clearest image ever of the hydrogen emitted by the Small Magellanic Cloud.
âThe clarity of this image is unprecedented,â he said.
âWe can see all the small-scale structures for the first time. It is an important step in understanding the role of hydrogen in the evolution of galaxies.
âFor example, you can see holes in the gas. This shows us that hydrogen interacts with supernovae.
This study focused on the Small Magellanic Cloud – the closest satellite galaxy to the Milky Way.
The team used CSIRO’s ASKAP radio telescope and high-tech software to capture and process 100 hours of data.
Now they hope to take the project a step further.
âThis specific image was part of a pilot investigation,â said Dr Pingel.
âOver the next year, we will be collecting more observations. Eventually, we’ll be able to connect them and create a giant mosaic that will show how this galaxy connects to its close neighbors. “
The study was published online.
Reference: “GASKAP-HI Pilot Survey Science I: ASKAP Zoom Observations of HI Emission in the Small Magellanic Cloud” by NM Pingel, J. Dempsey, NM McClure-Griffiths, JM Dickey, KE Jameson, H. Arce, G. Anglada, J. Bland-Hawthorn, SL Breen, F. Buckland-Willis, SE Clark, JR Dawson, H. DÃ©nes, EM Di Teodoro, B.-Q. Car, Tyler J. Foster, JF GÃ³mez, H. Imai, G. Joncas, C.-G. Kim, M.-Y. Lee, C. Lynn, D. Leahy, YK Ma, A. Marchal, D. McConnell, M.-A. Miville-DeschÃªnes, VA Moss, CE Murray, D. Nidever, J. Peek, S. StanimiroviÄ, L. Staveley-Smith, T. Tepper-Garcia, CD Tremblay, L. Uscanga, J. Th. Van Loon, E. VÃ¡zquez-Semadeni, JR Allison, CS Anderson, Lewis Ball, M. Bell, DC-J. Bock, J. Bunton, FR Cooray, T. Cornwell, BS Koribalski, N. Gupta, DB Hayman, L. Harvey-Smith, K. Lee-Waddell, A. Ng, CJ Phillips, M. Voronkov, T. Westmeier and MT Whiting, November 9, 2021, Astrophysics> Astrophysics of Galaxies.
The project is part of the Galactic ASKAP (GASKAP) investigation, one of the many priority projects to be undertaken with the ASKAP radio telescope. ASKAP is a radio telescope located in Western Australia. It has 36 satellite dishes that work together as a single telescope and can generate more raw data at a faster rate than all of Australia’s internet traffic.
CSIRO recognizes the Wajarri Yamatji as the traditional owners of the Murchison Radio Astronomy Observatory site where ASKAP is located.