In Brief
  • The universe appears dramatically different depending on what light spectrum you look through.
  • New images from the GLEAM survey show how the universe looks through radiowaves compared to different spectrums.


Modern astronomy lets us image and look at the skies in much more detail than ever before. Telescopes like the ROSAT, the Fermi Telescope, and the Planck Telescope have allowed us to see the universe in many different lights.

Now, a new astronomical survey reveals the heavens under a different spectrum — radio waves. The GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky MWA (GLEAM) shows what 300,000 galaxies look like if we could see radio waves.

Humans can only see everything under visible light. But any physics student can tell you visible light is but one of many spectrums of light out there. Humans can also see with only three primary colors, while the GLEAM survey imaged galaxies with 20 primary colors.

The GLEAM survey used data from the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), a radio telescope in the Australian outback. While previous observations have imaged parts of the sky using radio waves, this is the most comprehensive one yet.

Below are remarkable photos of the Milky Way galaxy in all its glory via different lenses.

Gleamoscope/Nick Risinger/
The visible light spectrum. Image Credit: Gleamoscope/Nick Risinger/


Gleamoscope/ROSAT Telescope
Shorter X-ray light. Image Credit: Gleamoscope/ROSAT Telescope


Gleamoscope/Fermi Telescope
The shortest wavelength — gamma rays. Image Credit: Gleamoscope/Fermi Telescope


The longer infrared wavelength. Image Credit: Gleamoscope/IRAS/NASA


Gleamoscope/ESA/Planck Telescope
The even longer microwave wavelength. Image Credit: Gleamoscope/ESA/Planck Telescope


And finally, radio waves. Image Credit: Gleamoscope/GLEAM