"Naked-eye" gamma-ray burst aimed squarely at earth
The jet from a powerful gamma-ray burst on March 19 that was bright enough for human eyes to see, despite the distance of 7.5 billion light years, was aimed almost directly at Earth. The burst was observed by satellites and observatories around the world, including ASTRON’s Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. Results of the observation are published today in an article in Nature authored by an international team of 93 astronomers, including Dutch astronomers of the University of Amsterdam, ASTRON, the University of Leiden and the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE).
Dr. Huib Jan van Langevelde is the new director of JIVE
Huib Jan van Langevelde (44) has been a member of the JIVE staff for 12 years, holding various positions. Recently he has managed various international projects related to astronomical user software and computing. His astronomical research focuses on the circumstellar matter around young and old stars, with an emphasis on astrophysical masers.
Huygens detected by GBT!
As part of the VLBI tracking of the ESA's Huygens planetray probe, the R.C.Byrd Green Bank Telescope of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory equipped with the ESA/JIVE-supplied Mk5 recorder was the first to detect the Huygens' carrier signal at the frequency of 2040 MHz. The spectrum with resolution of 900 mHz is obtained with the JIVE's Huygens Software Correlator will be used for reconstruction of the vertical profile of the wind in Titan's atmosphere.
Radio astronomers prepare to track the Huygens Probe in the atmosphere of Titan
When the Huygens Probe makes its plunge into the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan on 14 January 2005, a network of radio telescopes located in Australia, China, Japan and the USA connected to the Data Processing centre at the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE) will help international teams of scientists extract the maximum possible amount of irreplaceable information from a planetary mission unique in human history.
Further eVLBI Progress
Jodrell Bank's new 2.5 Gb/s connection was used in an eVLBI test for the first time yesterday (20th Dec 2004). Real-time fringes to Jodrell were detected from Westerbork, at 128Mb/s, and from Torun at 256Mb/s. These are the highest real-time eVLBI data rates achieved in Europe so far, quadrupling the previous record. This fringe plot shows individual integrations, for one sub-band, on the Jodrell Bank-Torun baseline.
Astronomers demonstrate Global Internet Telescope
European and US radio astronomers have demonstrated a new way of observing the Universe - through the Internet! Using cutting-edge technology, the researchers have managed to observe a distant star by using the world's research networks to create a giant virtual telescope. The process has allowed them to image the object with unprecedented detail, in real-time; something which only a few years ago would have been impossible. The star chosen for this remarkable demonstration, called IRC+10420, is one of the most unusual in the sky. Surrounded by clouds of dusty gas and emitting strongly in radio waves, the object is poised at the end of its life, heading toward a cataclysmic explosion known as a 'supernova'.
First "real-time" success for European radio astronomy
The first ever real-time European “eVLBI” image was produced at JIVE in Dwingeloo on 28 April. Signals from three radio telescopes of the European VLBI Network (EVN) were sent directly via fibre networks into the Data Processor at JIVE and correlated, without the data at any time having been stored on disk. This is called “eVLBI”: a technique to link the telescopes together through an electronic network. eVLBI has the potential to realise much higher data rates, and make data analysis in real time a possibility. In other words: live images from the edge of the Universe can be obtained.