Stichting Astronomisch Onderzoek in Nederland (ASTRON)
Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)
Dwingeloo, 15 januari 2009
The Westerbork Radio Telescope participates in marathon observation
Radio telescopes around the world will conduct a nearly continuous
33-hour observation of three quasars today and tomorrow, tracking the
extra-galactic objects as they rise and set with the rotation of the
Earth. The Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope will be participating
in this. The observation is part of a demonstration at the opening
event for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA 2009) in Paris
17 telescopes in Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South
America will track the quasars J0204+1514, 0234+285 and 3C395,
switching between the three to accommodate different frequency
observing capabilities of the participating telescopes.
Using an astronomical technique called real-time, electronic Very Long
Baseline Interferometry or e-VLBI, participating telescopes observe
the same region of sky simultaneously, and data from each telescope is
sampled and streamed through high-speed networks to a central
processor at JIVE in the Netherlands. Operating in real-time, this
central data processor, a purpose-built supercomputer, decodes, aligns
and correlates the data for every possible pair of telescopes.
Telescopes and networks used for e-VLBI observation to be demonstrated
at the International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009) Opening Ceremony.
Image credit: Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe.
Representatives from participating institutes will attend the IYA 2009
Opening Ceremony in Paris to demonstrate the observation to over 800
attendees, including Nobel Prize winners and aspiring young scientists
from over 100 countries. Organizers of the observation have also
launched an educational Web site about e-VLBI at
www.expres-eu.org/iya2009/, available to attendees of the Paris event
and the general public.
To follow the opening ceremony in Paris live, click here:
For more information about the e-VLBI observation, see:
The Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. Credits: ASTRON.