Westerbork radio telescope takes photos of tiny galaxy Leo T

Small galaxy Leo T, photo taken with upgraded Westerbork telescope, Jan 2017
Small galaxy Leo T, photo taken with upgraded Westerbork telescope, Jan 2017. Photo: Astron

The Groningen astronomical institute Astron published the first pictures taken with the enhanced radio telescope of Westerborok. The first images shows Leo T, one of the smallest galaxies yet discovered, RTV Noord reports.

The telescope was upgraded with new radio receivers that act as a lens. This allows researchers to see about 40 times more than before. 

How such a small galaxy as Leo T came into existence is still a mystery. Researchers hope to find more tiny galaxies and thereby get to an answer. The upgraded telescope will be used in this too. It will take more radio images, thus mapping out more of the universe. 

A public database of the radio images taken with the Westerbork telescope will eventually be established, so that they're available for astronomical research around the world. 

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