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Posts Tagged ‘ICRAR’

These Aren’t The Voids You’re Looking For: Astronomers Find Faint Strings Of Galaxies Inside Empty Space


Australian astronomers have shown galaxies in the vast empty regions of the Universe are actually aligned into delicate strings in research published today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

A team of astronomers based at The University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) has found short strings of faint galaxies in what were previously thought to be extremely empty parts of space.

The Universe is full of vast collections of galaxies that are arranged into an intricate web of clusters and nodes connected by long strings. This remarkably organized structure is often called the ‘cosmic web’, with busy intersections of galaxies surrounding vast spaces, empty of anything visible to us on Earth.

“The spaces in the cosmic web are thought to be staggeringly empty,” said Dr Mehmet Alpaslan, who led the research. “They might contain just one or two galaxies, as opposed to the hundreds that are found in big clusters.

These huge, empty regions are called voids, and for years, astronomers have been trying to understand the small population of galaxies that inhabit them.

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New Fast And Furious Black Hole Found

February 28, 2014 Leave a comment

Image Credits: M83 - NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (WFC3/UVIS, STScI-PRC14-04a).MQ1

Image Credits: M83 – NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (WFC3/UVIS, STScI-PRC14-04a).MQ1

A team of Australian and American astronomers have been studying nearby galaxy M83 and have found a new superpowered small black hole, named MQ1, the first object of its kind to be studied in this much detail.

Astronomers have found a few compact objects that are as powerful as MQ1, but have not been able to work out the size of the black hole contained within them until now.

The team observed the MQ1 system with multiple telescopes and discovered that it is a standard-sized small black hole, rather than a slightly bigger version that was theorised to account for all its power.

Curtin University senior research fellow Dr Roberto Soria, who is part of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) and led the team investigating MQ1, said it was important to understand how stars were formed, how they evolved and how they died, within a spiral shaped galaxy like M83.

“MQ1 is classed as a microquasar – a black hole surrounded by a bubble of hot gas, which is heated by two jets just outside the black hole, powerfully shooting out energy in opposite directions, acting like cosmic sandblasters pushing out on the surrounding gas,” Dr Soria said.

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Pawsey Powerhouse Supercomputer Crunches Pre-SKA Data Torrent


High-performance computing specialists from Perth’s International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) today became the first users of one of Australia’s leading supercomputing facilities – the Pawsey Centre – ahead of its official opening later this year.

The recent launch of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) – a radio telescope based in Western Australia’s Mid West – marked the start of an impressive flow of astronomical data that will be stored in the iVEC-managed Pawsey Centre in Kensington for later use by researchers around the world.

“We now have more than 400 megabytes per second of MWA data streaming along the National Broadband Network from the desert 800km away,” said Professor Andreas Wicenec, from The University of Western Australia node of ICRAR.

“To store the Big Data the MWA produces, you’d need almost three 1TB hard drives every two hours,” said Prof Wicenec. “The technical challenge isn’t just in saving the observations but how you then distribute them to astronomers from the MWA team in far-flung places so they can start using it.”

Full Story: http://www.icrar.org/news/news_items/pawsey-powerhouse-supercomputer-crunches-pre-ska-big-data

Australia Business Helps Astronomers Discover the Universe

November 1, 2011 Leave a comment

A quest to study the earliest stars and galaxies in the Universe is underway, with local industry building the first major pieces of a revolutionary new radio telescope in Western Australia, as part of the Murchison Wide-field Array.Murchison Wide-field Array (MWA) industry partner and Fremantle-based high-technology company, Poseidon Scientific Instruments (PSI), has been awarded a $1.3m contract by Curtin University to build 16 packages of sensitive electronics, using a smart design suited to the environmental and radio-quiet conditions of outback WA.

The MWA is being built by an Australian consortium led by The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), a joint venture between Curtin University and The University of Western Australia, in close collaboration with US, Indian and New Zealand partners.

ICRAR Deputy Director, Professor Steven Tingay, said PSI was a world-class technology company and working with its local expertise to design and develop components for the international project was an enormous advantage.

Full Story: http://www.icrar.org/news/news_items/wa-high-tech-business-helps-astronomers-discover-the-universe