Book chapters will be unavailable on Saturday 24th August between 8am-12pm BST. This is for essential maintenance which will provide improved performance going forwards. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Due to their extremely small luminosity compared to the stars they orbit, planets outside our own Solar System are extraordinarily difficult to detect directly in optical light. Careful photometric monitoring of distant stars, however, can reveal the presence of exoplanets via the microlensing or eclipsing effects they induce. The international PLANET collaboration is performing such monitoring using a cadre of semi-dedicated telescopes around the world. Their results constrain the number of gas giants orbiting 1–7 AU from the most typical stars in the Galaxy. Upgrades in the program are opening regions of “exoplanet discovery space” – toward smaller masses and larger orbital radii – that are inaccessible to the Doppler velocity technique.
The spatial distribution and polarization characteristics of the SiO (v=1, J=1-0) maser emission from several late type stars have been observed. The spatial distribution, derived from VLBI observations, generally shows a number of emitting regions but no clear velocity pattern or geometry. Some of these regions have well defined polarization characteristics. The results of high spatial resolution polarization measurements of RCas are similar to the lower spatial resolution polarimetry performed on this source.
Study of extragalactic H2O masers has progressed significantly in the 25 years since their discovery. Existing in star forming regions and in the accretion disks supermassive black holes, they are familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. A review of how our understanding has grown, up to the present day, is followed by comments on future prospects.
Information on the structure of the molecular flow within 1″ of IRC-2, in Orion-KL, is sparse. Measurements of the continuum at 7.8μ and 12.5μ show a disk of size and suggest that the center of the disk may be dust free (Lester et al. 1985). Aperture synthesis mapping of water maser shell features (Sylber 1986) has provided information on the scale. Smaller scales can be studied by mapping SiO maser emission. We observed the 43 GHz, v=1, J = 1 → 0, transition of SiO using a 2 station interferometer with a 74 km baseline between Haystack Observatory, Westford, MA and Five College Radio Observatory, New Salem, MA. The fringe spacing was 20 milliarcseconds (mas) and the velocity resolution was 0.25 km-s−1. Our results provide the highest resolution view to date of what is likely to be the inner of IRC-2.
High-mass star formation is not well understood chiefly because examples are deeply embedded, relatively distant, and crowded with sources of emission. Using VLA and VLBA observations of H2O and SiO maser emission, we have mapped in detail the structure and proper motion of material 20-500 AU from the closest high-mass YSO, radio source I in the Orion KL region. We observe streams of material driven in a rotating, wide angle, bipolar wind from the the surface of an edge-on accretion disk. The example of source I provides strong evidence that high-mass star formation proceeds via accretion.
Recent upgrades of the Infrared Spatial Interferometer are described. These provide improved sensitivity, precision and convenience of measurement. Analysis of phase fluctuations within the interferometer as well as in the atmosphere above indicates that popular simple atmospheric models need to be refined. Results of stellar observations are presented in another paper (cf. Danchi et al., in these Proceedings).
Observations of the angular distribution of the water masers in the nucleus of NGC4258 reveal the presence of a thin molecular disk in nearly perfect Keplerian orbit (Miyoshi et al., 1995; Moran et al., 1995). About 300 galaxies have been searched for nuclear water masers to a limiting sensitivity of about 0.1 Jy (e.g., Braatz, 1996); and 16 masers have been detected. The maser imaged by Miyoshi et al. (1995) offers the best example of disk structure. VLA data of NGC1068 shows evidence of disk structure (Gallimore et al., 1996; Greenhill & Gwinn, 1996) and NGC2639 has drifting features, which may be due to centripetal acceleration (Wilson et al., 1995).
We have compiled a catalogue of H ii regions detected with the Murchison Widefield Array between 72 and 231 MHz. The multiple frequency bands provided by the Murchison Widefield Array allow us identify the characteristic spectrum generated by the thermal Bremsstrahlung process in H ii regions. We detect 306 H ii regions between 260° < l < 340° and report on the positions, sizes, peak, integrated flux density, and spectral indices of these H ii regions. By identifying the point at which H ii regions transition from the optically thin to thick regime, we derive the physical properties including the electron density, ionised gas mass, and ionising photon flux, towards 61 H ii regions. This catalogue of H ii regions represents the most extensive and uniform low frequency survey of H ii regions in the Galaxy to date.
A broad-band (2-190 keV) Australian X-ray satellite could provide a spectral sensitivity substantially better than HEAO-1 or any presently approved spacecraft. It would be virtually unique by providing simultaneously data over a wide energy range with high sensitivity and energy resolution in the little measured region above 30 keV. These measurements are vital to our understanding of such diverse topics as the cyclotron line production mechanism in binary sources, the structure of the magnetosphere of neutron stars, the origin of the diffuse cosmic X-ray background and the nature of the giant power sources in active galaxies and stellar black holes. Details of the proposed spacecraft and scientific objectives are given.
The University of Tasmania balloon-borne large area X-ray telescope was flown from Alice Springs on 20 November 1978. A number of known X-ray sources were observed and a transient increase believed to be a gamma ray burst was detected.
Most of the recent advances in X-ray astronomy have resulted from satellite observations in the low energy (< 20 keV) range. The Einstein X-ray Observatory in particular has been responsible for a dramatic increase in our knowledge of the X-ray sky, in that all major classes of astronomical objects have been detected.
While Uhuru’s contribution to X-ray astronomy in the energy range 1 – 20 keV (and more particularly 2 – 10 keV) has been most impressive, it remains true that satellite observations outside this energy range, and particularly at energies above 20 keV which are also accessible to balloon-borne instrumentation, have been somewhat disappointing. We cannot forsee any likely marked improvement in this situation for at least four years and we believe therefore, that balloon-borne payloads can continue to contribute significantly to the study of hard X-ray sources.
The binary X-ray source GX 1 + 4 was observed during a balloon flight in 1986, November. The source was in a relatively high intensity state. Time analysis of the data shows that the pulsation period was 111.8 ± 1.0 s indicating that one or more episodes of spin-down occurred between 1980 and 1986. Folded pulse profiles are very broad with an indication of a notch at the peak. Evidence has been found for a correlation between hard X-ray intensity and phase of the proposed 304 day orbital period. The time averaged intensity since 1980 is an order of magnitude lower than during the 1970’s. A survey of the post 1980 data shows that several reversals of the period derivative have occurred. Spin-up at the rates typical of the 1970’s has been followed by a dramatic spin-down episode with dP/dt>2.4 × 10−7 s/s.
The initial flight of the University of Tasmania balloon-borne X-ray telescope was made from Parkes on Dec. 2, 1976. During the flight, enhanced X-ray emission was observed from the directions of 3U0900-40 (Vela XR-1), GX301-2 and the Galactic Centre. In this paper we report on the performance of the payload during the 11 hour flight and describe the preliminary results thus far obtained.
We present the first 86 GHz spectral line VLBI map. Strong SiO masers in the late type star VX Sgr are mapped with a relative astrometry of 0.15 mas revealing an irregular ring of maser emission that echos structure seen at 43 GHz. A surprising feature of this map is the detection of a large (0.5 km s−1 AU−1 ) linear velocity gradient that can be interpreted as rigid rotation of the circumstellar envelope.
We have imaged the H2O maser and 22, 8, & 5 GHz continuum in the nucleus of NGC 3079, using the NRAO VLBA. The maser features are distributed over ~ 2 pc along an axis aligned with the plane of the kpc–scale edge–on molecular disk. The masers are not angularly coincident with any detected continuum emission. The two brightest continuum features, which trace a parsec–scale jet, have similar spectra that peak at frequencies ν > 5 GHz. We also detected faint maser emission along the jet axis.
We review the current status and future prospects of the PLANET collaboration, an international team of astronomers performing high-precision photometric monitoring of microlensing events. Our photometric precision and sampling is characterised and the suitability of the database for variable star studies is discussed. Preliminary results on K-giant stability are presented.
The relative proper motions of water vapor maser features in the H ɪɪ region IC 133 have been used to determine a distance to the galaxy M33 that is independent of the usual calibrations associated with extragalactic distance estimates, e.g., extinction and metallicity.
We report the first VLBI images of the NGC 1068 H2O maser that include the full 600 km s−1 spread of the emission. The structure of the source is suggestive of an edge-on massive disk that is probably bound by the central engine of this AGN.
We compare first-order (refractive) ionospheric effects seen by the MWA with the ionosphere as inferred from GPS data. The first-order ionosphere manifests itself as a bulk position shift of the observed sources across an MWA field of view. These effects can be computed from global ionosphere maps provided by GPS analysis centres, namely the CODE. However, for precision radio astronomy applications, data from local GPS networks needs to be incorporated into ionospheric modelling. For GPS observations, the ionospheric parameters are biased by GPS receiver instrument delays, among other effects, also known as receiver DCBs. The receiver DCBs need to be estimated for any non-CODE GPS station used for ionosphere modelling. In this work, single GPS station-based ionospheric modelling is performed at a time resolution of 10 min. Also the receiver DCBs are estimated for selected Geoscience Australia GPS receivers, located at Murchison Radio Observatory, Yarragadee, Mount Magnet and Wiluna. The ionospheric gradients estimated from GPS are compared with that inferred from MWA. The ionospheric gradients at all the GPS stations show a correlation with the gradients observed with the MWA. The ionosphere estimates obtained using GPS measurements show promise in terms of providing calibration information for the MWA.