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Arecibo Joins Global Network to Create 6,800-mile Diameter Radio Telescope

06/15/2008 02:11PM

Arecibo Joins Global Network to Create 6,800-mile Diameter Radio Telescope

Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico joined other telescopes in North America, South America, Europe, and Africa in simultaneously observing the same targets, simulating a telescope more than 6,800 miles (almost 11,000 kilometers) in diameter. The telescopes are all members of the Express Production Real-time eVLBI Service project. This marked a live demonstration of the first four-continent, real-time, electronic Very Long Baseline Interferometry (eVLBI) observation. eVLBI can generate images of cosmic radio sources with up to 100 times better resolution than images from the best optical telescopes.


Last I heard Arecibo was going to be shut down due to low funding; has that changed? Is this a ploy to generate support for the site or is there real work possible with such a mismatched assembly of equipment? <br><br>-Guy
  • lukehan [Luke Schmidt]
  • 06/17/2008 12:34AM
VLBI is a very hot field of research right now. The long baselines give incredible resolution and these observations are a key to understanding the centers of galaxies (m87 is a popular one to study not to mention this method has provided the best constraint yet on the size and mass of Sag A* the black hole in the center of our own galaxy. Also, each collector that is added adds another baseline and increases the sensitivity of the array. Do a google image search for "vlbi m87" and you'll find some pretty cool stuff. Indeed it is a mismatched array, but is a great example of cutting edge research done with existing equipment. This is a big file (24mb powerpoint), it is the slides from a lecture I attended last week. This is a good overview of what is current.<br><br>Enjoy,<br><br>Luke