Radio Astronomy News

Are We Alone?

I found this on Facebook, Illustrated by The Oatmeal, written by James Miller

Inside the VLBA

-=- Posted: Wednesday 3 January 2018 -=-

While not strictly 'News', I found a great little Youtube video of a visit to one of the dishes at Kitt Peak that make up the Very Long Baseline Array.

Seasons Greetings from the SKA

-=- Posted: Friday 22 December 2017 -=-

We received a lovely Christmas message from the SKA Organisation reprinted as follows;

As 2017 comes to an end we can look back on a busy but productive year across the Square Kilometre Array project.

You can read all about recent developments from across the project in the latest edition of our newsletter, as well as news from the central Office in the latest edition of the SKAO Bulletin, our bi-monthly project update from the SKA Headquarters at Jodrell Bank, UK - seen above a few days ago after some heavy snow!

This is also an opportunity to mention we are currently recruiting for several roles within the SKA Office, which you can view here. I would encourage you to apply or distribute them within your professional networks.

Finally, I also invite you to read two feature stories we published earlier this week on some of the design activities for the two SKA telescopes. In addition to providing insights into the technical complexities, logistics and practical challenges of bringing together hardware coming from different parts of the world, this two-part series truly reflects the international nature of these two particular elements, and more generally of our project.

From lab to Outback: The story of AAVS1 so far covers some of the developments towards the SKA1-low telescope in Australia and Across 18 time zones: a global effort to deliver a dish prototype covers some of the developments towards SKA1-mid in South Africa.

2018, I am sure, will be an exciting and, as always, eventful year for the SKA.

I wish you season’s greetings and thank you for your continued support.

Best Regards,
Prof. Philip Diamond
SKA Organisation Director-General

Small Magellanic Cloud being devoured

-=- Posted: Tuesday 28 November 2017 -=-

Australian National University astronomer Professor Naomi McClure-Griffiths and her team have used the ASKAP to image part of the Small Magellanic Cloud.

She said on her Twitter page 'It's particularly incredible to me that this SMC image is a single field-of-view. The last time the SMC was imaged in HI it took 320 pointings with the ATCA'.

From an article in the Sydney Morning Herald 'The Milky Way has to eat galaxies to keep building stars. Our galaxy needs food, and these are kind of snacks'. Professor McClure-Griffiths and her team are interested in how galaxies form, and how they die. The best way to find that out, they say, is to follow the hydrogen. Hydrogen fuels stars and is the basic building block of all galaxies. Inside a galaxy it swirls around until it is compressed by gravity into a new star. A galaxy that has a lot of hydrogen can make new stars and expand in size. The team is studying the Small Magellanic​ Cloud, a dwarf galaxy that orbits the Milky Way. The Cloud has several hundred million stars – a small fry compared to the Milky Way's hundreds of billions.

ASKAP 36 Phased Arrays Complete

-=- Posted: Thursday 23 November 2017 -=-

On Tuesday 21st November, our 36th PAF was installed on AK #29 marking the completion of installation of all receivers for ASKAP-36! Earlier this month, our last PAF (PAF # 40 – our second spare PAF), passed functional and EMI testing signifying the end of the PAF production testing at Marsfield. By the end of the month we will also be shipping the Jodrell Bank PAF to UK to complete our contract with Jodrell Bank Observatory (after having completed our Max Plank Institute contract in 2016). All of these milestones are very significant not just for all of the team members who have worked very hard for a number of years to bring this to fruition, but I am sure also for all of CASS and for its stakeholders awaiting this momentous occasion for some time.

There is no better way to finish off 2017. - Thanks again and Happy 36th!

Article taken from the ATNF Daily Image page.

Click here to find out more about ASKAP and the Phased Array Feed.