Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New radio telescope will listen to the universe on the FM-band

Date:
June 29, 2010
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
The first major radio telescope to be built in Britain for many decades will 'listen' to the sky at FM frequencies, providing vast quantities of data to a supercomputer in Holland, paving the way for unexpected new discoveries.

The first major radio telescope to be built in Britain for many decades will 'listen' to the sky at FM frequencies, providing vast quantities of data to a supercomputer in Holland, paving the way for unexpected new discoveries.

Related Articles


Astronomers, including scientists at the University of Southampton, hope to detect when the first stars were formed and will observe some of the most distant galaxies, revealing more about how the Universe evolved.

The telescope is being constructed by a band of university volunteers in a field at the Chilbolton Observatory, near Andover in Hampshire, which is part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Students, lecturers and researchers mainly from the universities of Southampton, Portsmouth and Oxford are helping scientists at Chilbolton to install 96 radio antennae, which are part of the European LOFAR project (Low Frequency Array). When completed, LOFAR will consist of over 5,000 separate antennae spread in 'stations' all over Europe. Stations have already been completed in the Netherlands and Germany and others are planned in France and Sweden.

Professor Rob Fender, of the University of Southampton, who is leading the LOFAR-UK project, says: "LOFAR is an amazingly simple concept because the antennae are made from everyday components, but it is also immensely complex because of the huge amounts of radio data that these antennae produce."

The antennae will work at the lowest frequencies accessible from the Earth and will be connected using sophisticated computing and high speed internet. A supercomputer based in the Netherlands will use digital electronics to combine the signals from the antennae across Europe to make images of the entire radio sky.

All the data-streams will be combined to make the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope. Astronomers shift and multiply these streams together to improve the signal from them all and 'digitally steer' the telescope to different parts of the sky.

Rob adds: "At the Chilbolton site, seven petabytes of raw data will be produced each year, which must be transferred in real-time to Holland. That's like streaming 100 high definition TV channels for every second of every day for the next five years."

Professor Bob Nichol, of the University of Portsmouth's Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation and LOFAR-UK, says: "The LOFAR telescope will produce an enormous volume of data which in turn will enable a significant amount of science; from monitoring the sun's activity -- 'space weather' to scientists -- to potentially searching for alien intelligence -- maybe answering the age-old question 'Are we alone?'."

LOFAR-UK is a consortium of astronomers representing 22 British universities, making it the largest radio astronomy consortium in the country. Over 70 leading UK astronomers are directly involved in the project. The universities involved include: Aberystwyth, Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hertfordshire, Leicester, Liverpool John Moores, Kent, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Open University, Oxford, Portsmouth, QMUL, Sheffield, Southampton, Sussex, and UCL. Other participating organisations include RAL/Chilbolton and the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "New radio telescope will listen to the universe on the FM-band." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621084605.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2010, June 29). New radio telescope will listen to the universe on the FM-band. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621084605.htm
University of Southampton. "New radio telescope will listen to the universe on the FM-band." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621084605.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Video Shows Stars If They Were as Close to Earth as Sun

Video Shows Stars If They Were as Close to Earth as Sun

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Russia&apos;s space agency created a video that shows what our sky would look like with different star if they were as close as our sun. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) walks us through the cool video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Retired astronaut and television host, Leland Melvin, snuck his dogs into the NASA studio so they could be in his official photo. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us, the secret is out. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Holds Memorial to Remember Astronauts

NASA Holds Memorial to Remember Astronauts

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) NASA is remembering 17 astronauts who were killed in the line of duty and dozens more who have died since the agency&apos;s beginning. A remembrance ceremony was held Thursday at NASA&apos;s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Rumble (Jan. 27, 2015) Scientists working with NASA&apos;s Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California discovered an unexpected moon while observing asteroid 2004 BL86 during its recent flyby past Earth. Credit to &apos;NASA JPL&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins