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The Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU) surveys is one of the key surveys being on the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. The survey will map the whole of the southern sky at radio wavelength. Many astronomical sources emit light at radio wavelengths, from merging neutron stars, to super massive blackholes and the supernovae. EMU will map an incredible 70million astronomical sources across the southern sky.

Within EMU I am deputy lead of a key science project to measure the evolution of the rate at which galaxies are forming stars in the Universe.

If you want to know more about EMU, see here.

Overview for Astronomers

EMU is a radio sky survey project which will use the new ASKAP telescope to make a deep (~10µJy rms) radio continuum survey covering the entire Southern Sky as far North as 30°.

EMU was chosen (with WALLABY) as one of the two highest-ranked proposals for ASKAP (from an initial field of 39 expressions of interest) and will be fully supported by ATNF so that EMU members can work closely with the ASKAP team to ensure that EMU reaches the ambitious science goals we have set.

EMU will transform our view of the radio sky, going about 45 times deeper than its predecessor, NVSS, and discovering about 70 million radio sources compared to the 2.5 million discovered by all radio telescopes over the entire history of radio astronomy.  EMU also differs from its predecessors in producing an “added-value catalogue”, with classifications, optical/IR cross-identifications, redshifts, and extracted diffuse sources. The EMU project itself includes a number of “development projects” to develop the techniques to generate that added-value data, and collaboration projects to build collaborations to share data with other multiwavelength projects. But the driving force of all EMU activity is the”Key Science Projects” which will generate the science from the EMU survey, addressing major unsolved problems and challenges in extragalactic and Galactic astrophysics, and cosmology.

EMU, like other ground-breaking surveys, is exploring an unexplored part of the observational phase space, and experience tells us that, in addition to delivering the science from Key Science Projects (the “known unknowns”), such projects nearly always discover unexpected new phenomena – the “unknown unknowns” of astronomy. Even more importantly, these discoveries dominate the scientific productivity of major new telescopes. For example, of the ten most important discoveries made with the Hubble Space Telescope, only one featured in its original science goals. So one of the Key Science Projects of EMU is the WTF project, whose goal is to use machine learning and other techniques to mine EMU data (and eventually other data) for the unexpected.

A detailed description of the EMU project can be found in the EMU Project Description Paper


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