Look up, TV people.

New Scientist points out an unexpected sunny side of the recent switch to digital broadcasting: it’s suddenly a lot easier for radio telescopes to see the sky:

The window is giving astronomers their first radio views of galaxies that thrived when the universe was about half its present age. They hope to measure how much hydrogen – the raw material for new stars – the galaxies had. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see galaxies in that range,” says Arecibo researcher Chris Salter. “We’re able to see an epoch that hasn’t been observed before with radio eyes.”

Unfortunately, cell phone companies and other businesses have already won the rights to these frequencies. They expect that within a year, the radiowave skies will get dim again.