ARROW facility (SXPS288)

Subject Astro Phys

A Robotic Radio telescope Over the Web (ARROW) - for use on OU module SXPS288.

Background and nature of the task

An individual hydrogen atom emits or absorbs radiation at a precise frequency in the radio spectrum (close to 1.4 GHz)  whenever the spin of the single bound electron changes. Spontaneous spin transitions for any one atom are extremely rare but with a sufficiently large number of atoms many transitions will take place in a short period of time. The Milky Way can be probed with this 1.4 GHz radiation because its spiral arms contain vast clouds of neutral hydrogen atoms. The observed frequencies are Doppler-shifted by galactic scale motions, allowing astronomers to map the rotation curve and large-scale structure of the Galaxy.

In this experiment you will make careful measurements with a 3 m radio telescope that can be analysed to reveal the spiral structure of the Milky Way.

Duration and pattern of use

  • 20 h briefing on background and preparation
  • 3 h online telescope session
  • 20 h analysis, interpretation and debriefing

The link below, when it becomes available, will allow you to book time on the ARROW Facility and give you access to the Facility itself.

You can book one observing session. Each observing session requires at least two observers, but at most four. You will be able to cancel a session that you have booked and select another session if one is available.

If you'd like to swap an observing session with someone else please post a corresponding message on the ARROW topic forum

You should follow the link below, when it becomes available, shortly before your observing session is due to begin. The ARROW Facility control interface will then begin automatically.


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