Back to Volume
Paper: WTF? Discovering the Unexpected in Next-Generation Radio Continuum Surveys
Volume: 512, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXV
Page: 109
Authors: Crawford, E.; Norris, R. P.; Polsterer, K.
Abstract: Most major discoveries in astronomy have come from unplanned discoveries made by surveying the Universe in a new way, rather than by testing a hypothesis or conducting an investigation with planned outcomes. Next generation radio continuum surveys such as the Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU: the radio continuum survey on the new Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope), will significantly expand the volume of observational phase space, so we can be reasonably confident that we will stumble across unexpected new phenomena or new types of object. However, the complexity of the instrument and the large data volumes mean that it may be non-trivial to identify them. On the other hand, if we don't, then we may be missing out on the most exciting science results from EMU. We have therefore started a project called “WTF”, which explicitly aims to mine EMU data to discover unexpected science that is not part of our primary science goals, using a variety of machine-learning techniques and algorithms. Although targeted specifically at EMU, we expect this approach will have broad applicability to astronomical survey data.
Back to Volume