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We report the results of Long Baseline Array observations made in 2001 of ten southern sources proposed by Mattox et al. as counterparts to EGRET >100 MeV gamma-ray sources. Source structures are compared with published data where available and possible superluminal motions identified in several cases. The associations are examined in the light of Fermi observations, indicating that the confirmed counterparts tend to have radio properties consistent with other identifications, including flat radio spectral index, high brightness temperature, greater radio variability, and higher core dominance.
We present results from a multiwavelength study of the blazar PKS 1954–388 at radio, UV, X-ray, and gamma-ray energies. A RadioAstron observation at 1.66 GHz in June 2012 resulted in the detection of interferometric fringes on baselines of 6.2 Earth-diameters. This suggests a source frame brightness temperature of greater than 2 × 1012 K, well in excess of both equipartition and inverse Compton limits and implying the existence of Doppler boosting in the core. An 8.4-GHz TANAMI VLBI image, made less than a month after the RadioAstron observations, is consistent with a previously reported superluminal motion for a jet component. Flux density monitoring with the Australia Telescope Compact Array confirms previous evidence for long-term variability that increases with observing frequency. A search for more rapid variability revealed no evidence for significant day-scale flux density variation. The ATCA light-curve reveals a strong radio flare beginning in late 2013, which peaks higher, and earlier, at higher frequencies. Comparison with the Fermi gamma-ray light-curve indicates this followed ~ 9 months after the start of a prolonged gamma-ray high-state—a radio lag comparable to that seen in other blazars. The multiwavelength data are combined to derive a Spectral Energy Distribution, which is fitted by a one-zone synchrotron-self-Compton (SSC) model with the addition of external Compton (EC) emission.
We have completed a Chandra snapshot survey of 54 radio jets that are extended on arcsec scales. These are associated with flat spectrum radio quasars spanning a redshift range z=0.3 to 2.1. X-ray emission is detected from the jet of approximately 60% of the sample objects. We assume minimum energy and apply conditions consistent with the original Felten-Morrison calculations in order to estimate the Lorentz factors and the apparent Doppler factors. This allows estimates of the enthalpy fluxes, which turn out to be comparable to the radiative luminosities.
The Micro-arcsecond Scintillation-Induced Variability (MASIV) Survey and its follow-up observations have provided large datasets of AGN intra-day variability (IDV) at radio wavelengths. These data have shown that IDV arises mainly from scintillation caused by scattering in the ionized interstellar medium (ISM) of our Galaxy, based on correlation with Galactic latitudes and line-of-sight Galactic electron column densities. The sensitivity of interstellar scintillation (ISS) towards source angular sizes has provided a new tool for studying the most compact components of radio-loud AGNs at microarcsecond (μas) scale resolution - much higher than any ground-based radio interferometer. We present here key results from the MASIV Survey and its follow-up observations, and point to relevant papers where these results have been published.
We are undertaking an observational program using the ATCA to monitor the intraday variability (IDV) of a sample of sources at 4.8 and 8.6 GHz. The sources were selected to include the known strong southern IDV sources plus a number of sources whose IDV was recently discovered. The present monitoring program will extend over a full year in order to search for any annual cycle that may be present in the long-term IDV characteristics of these sources. In this paper we discuss the observing strategy and data analysis, and present the first results from our observations.
We have commenced a program to monitor the gravitational lens B1152+199 with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) to search for variability of the lensed components with the goal of measuring the lensing time delay. As part of this program we made a 9 hour full-synthesis observation in June 2000 to derive a ‘template’ for model-fitting the shorter, multi-epoch, monitoring observations. We report here on the results of this full-synthesis observation and on three additional epochs of monitoring for time variation.
Flux density monitoring data at 2.3 and 8.4 GHz is presented for a sample of 33 southern hemisphere GPS sources, drawn from the 2.7 GHz Parkes survey. This monitoring data, together with VLBI monitoring data, shows that a small fraction of these sources, ∼10%, vary. Their variability falls into several categories: sources whose spectral classification is, at best, ephemeral on a timescale of years; sources with a stable GPS classification that vary, but retain their classification; and a small number of sources that exhibit interstellar scintillation, but that maintain a mean GPS spectrum. Existing data on GPS sources with higher frequency peaks, ≥3 GHz, reveals that many such sources vary. However, the majority of these sources possess a GPS spectrum only during outbursts, and hence should perhaps be classified as ephemeral GPS sources. In addition, significant levels of circular polarisation have been found in a number of GPS sources, both amongst the variables and non-variables. Remarkable amongst these is PKS 1519–273, which possesses strong and variable circular polarisation, and which exhibits IDV in all Stokes parameters.
The future of centimetre and metre-wave astronomy lies with the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a telescope under development by a consortium of 17 countries that will be 50 times more sensitive than any existing radio facility. Most of the key science for the SKA will be addressed through large-area imaging of the Universe at frequencies from a few hundred MHz to a few GHz. The Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a technology demonstrator aimed in the mid-frequency range, and achieves instantaneous wide-area imaging through the development and deployment of phased-array feed systems on parabolic reflectors. The large field-of-view makes ASKAP an unprecedented synoptic telescope that will make substantial advances in SKA key science. ASKAP will be located at the Murchison Radio Observatory in inland Western Australia, one of the most radio-quiet locations on the Earth and one of two sites selected by the international community as a potential location for the SKA. In this paper, we outline an ambitious science program for ASKAP, examining key science such as understanding the evolution, formation and population of galaxies including our own, understanding the magnetic Universe, revealing the transient radio sky and searching for gravitational waves.
The discovery that interstellar scintillation (ISS) is suppressed for compact radio sources at z ≳ 2 has enabled ISS surveys to be used as cosmological probes. We discuss briefly the potential and challenges involved in such an undertaking, based on a dual-frequency survey of ISS carried out to determine the origin of this redshift dependence.
We have identified a new class of object that we term PRONGS (powerful radio objects nested in galaxies with star formation). These are powerful radio sources whose optical properties are that of spiral/star-forming galaxies, unlike classic powerful radio sources which are typically hosted by elliptical galaxies in the local Universe. Here we present a first look at these enigmatic sources.
In February 1997 the Japanese radio astronomy satellite HALCA was launched to provide the space-borne element for the VSOP mission. HALCA provided linear baselines three-times greater than that of ground arrays, thus providing higher resolution and higher AGN brightness temperature measurements and limits. Twenty-five percent of the scientific time of the mission was devoted to the “VSOP survey” of bright, compact, extra-galactic radio sources at 5 GHz. A complete list of 294 survey targets were selected from pre-launch surveys, 91% of which were observed during the satellite's lifetime.
The major goals of the VSOP Survey are statistical in nature: to determine the brightness temperature and approximate structure, to provide a source list for use with future space VLBI missions, and to compare radio properties with other data throughout the electro-magnetic spectrum. All the data collected have now been analysed and is being prepared for the final image Survey paper. In this paper we present details of the mission, and some statistics of the images and brightness temperatures.
PKS 1257—326 is one of three quasars known to show unusually large and rapid, intra-hour intensity variations, as a result of scintillation in the turbulent Galactic interstellar medium. We have measured time delays in the variability pattern arrival times at the VLA and the ATCA, as well as an annual cycle in the time-scale of variability for this source. Results of the two-station time delay observations are presented here. Implications for the scintillation of this source are discussed in the light of these results, together with results from two years of monitoring with the ATCA.
Nanocomposites and nanostructured polymers with unique opto-mechanical properties have been developed as smart coatings for use in a novel, high resolution, and non-contact strain-measuring application. Remote polarized Raman spectroscopy has been used to monitor optical strain sensitivity of deformed coatings (deformation micromechanics), and determine local strains on the micron scale directly from stress/strain induced Raman band shifts.
The research is aimed at providing a novel high-resolution non-contact technique for the determination of surface stresses and strains in a wide variety of engineering components used in both laboratory and in-the-field (external) applications.
The accumulation of evidence now strongly favours interstellar scintillation (ISS) as the principal mechanism causing intra-day variability (IDV) at cm wavelengths. While ISS reduces the implied brightness temperatures, they remain uncomfortably high. The distance to the scattering screen is an important parameter in determining the actual brightness temperature encountered. The high brightness temperatures, the presence of strong and variable circular polarization and the observed lifetimes of a decade or more for several IDV sources, pose significant problems for synchrotron theory.
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
The VSOP Survey Program contains 402 bright, small diameter extragalactic radio sources. Pre-launch observations indicated that 113 sources were probably undetectable on space-ground baselines, and so VSOP observations are being undertaken at 5 GHz of the remaining 289 sources. Progress to date is described.
We present results of the first space VLBI observations of PKS 1921-293. An inner jet component about 1.5 mas north of the core is revealed for the first time. The compact core is partially resolved, but still has a brightness temperature (at the source rest frame) of 3.0×1012 K. A spectral index map made by combining the 1.6 GHz VSOP image with the 5.0 GHz VLBA+Y image at the first epoch is also presented.
Oriented gases of biopolymers in simple, single crystal hosts might be used to measure anisotropic molecular properties of analytes that could not otherwise be crystallized. Here we show two types of crystals as examples of the single crystal matrix isolation of biopolymers: green fluorescent protein in α-lactose monohydrate as a model system for studying the kinetic stabilization of biopharmaceuticals, and adenosine phosphates in potassium dihydrogen phosphate, a first step in the matrix isolation of oligonucleotides. In each case, the hosts undergo compositional zoning – both intersectoral and intrasectoral – during growth from solution. Intrasectoral zoning is evident by the selective luminescence of adjacent vicinal slopes of growth active hillocks. Nucleotides furthermore distinguish between symmetry related growth sectors enantioselectively.
PKS 1830–211 is the strongest known radio gravitational lens by almost an order of magnitude and has the potential to provide a measurement of H0, provided the lensing system can be parameterized. Attempts to identify optical counterparts, to measure redshifts, have so far proved unsuccessful and this has lead to radio and millimetre spectral line observations. We present our discovery of an absorption system at z = 0.19. A brief description is also made of our ATCA observations to measure the lensing time delay for this source.
PKS 1934–638 is an archetypal GPS source, peaking at 1.4 GHz and exhibits almost no flux density variability. VLBI images at frequencies of .843, 2.3, 4.8, & 8.4 were made with the southern hemisphere VLBI array and they reveal that the source is a 42 mas compact double. There is no detectable change in separation over the last 20 years, yielding an upper limit of ~ 0.03c ± 0.2c on any expansion velocity. The spectral shapes of the two components are remarkably similar, despite indications of finer structure on longer baselines. Magnetic field calculations indicate fields of a few mGauss and the results are consistent with equipartition.