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Making a Map of the Radio Universe

3 Jan 2018, 16:01 UTC
Making a Map of the Radio Universe
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

As Project Director, Dr. Chandler heads up the VLA Sky Survey (VLASS), a massive effort that will map the entire sky visible from New Mexico (about 80 percent of the whole sky) over a period of seven years. VLASS will produce the sharpest radio view ever made of such a large portion of the sky, and is expected to detect 10 million distinct radio-emitting celestial objects, about four times as many as are now known. The data from VLASS will be made public.
First and foremost, I am an astronomer, curious about understanding the universe and our place in it. I have been a radio astronomer since finishing graduate school. This means that I use radio telescopes and radio techniques to further that understanding. Radio waves are able to penetrate the dust that can obscure visible light. Because of this, radio waves can tell us about everything from deeply embedded young stars to supermassive black holes, to energetic particles in the Solar corona and energetic relativistic jets — information that can be missed by searching only at other wavelengths. When the VLA Sky Survey project was proposed it represented a very exciting opportunity to be part of the process of ...

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