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The A$188 million ($138 million) radio telescope, dubbed the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), was able to map about three million galaxies in just 300 hours. Comparable surveys of the sky have taken as long as 10 years.
The revolutionary $9 billion infrared telescope, described by Nasa as the premiere space-science observatory of the next decade, was carried aloft inside the cargo bay of an Ariane 5 rocket that blasted off at about 7:20 am EST (1220 GMT) from the European Space Agency's (ESA) launch base in French Guiana.
The new readings provide a full menu of atoms, molecules, and even signs of active chemistry and clouds, highlights Jasmina Blecic.