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We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
This will be the last triennial report from Commission 50 under that label, because of the reorganization of the IAU at the end of the triennial period. Fortunately, site protection was recognized as an important ongoing function of the IAU, and the work of the Commission is continuing as Commission C.B7. The Commission has its primary association with Division B because of the technical aspects of its work and association with ground-based facilities, while it has the support of Division C as an Inter-Division Commission because of the strong need for educating the public on the issues.
The activities of the Commission have continued to focus on controlling unwanted light and radio emissions at observatory sites, monitoring of conditions at observatory sites, and education and outreach. Commission members have been active in securing new legislation in several locations to further the protection of observatory sites as well as in the international regulation of the use of the radio spectrum and the protection of radio astronomical observations.
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.
Intra-day variability (IDV) of active galactic nuclei (AGN) has been detected from gamma-ray energies to radio wavelengths. At high energies, such variability appears to be intrinsic to the sources themselves. However, at radio wavelengths, brightness temperatures as high as 1018 to 1021 K are encountered if the IDV is intrinsic to the source. We discuss here the accumulating evidence showing that, at radio wavelengths where the highest brightness temperatures are encountered, interstellar scintillation (ISS) is the principal mechanism causing IDV. While ISS reduces the implied brightness temperatures, they still remain uncomfortably high.
We present results of the ATCA IDV Survey of southern extragalactic radio sources. We discuss briefly the properties of the 22 new intraday variable sources discovered in the Survey. The follow-up observations of a few extreme examples of strong intraday variability are presented. We find that the characteristics of the total flux density fluctuations at different wavelengths are consistent with intersteller scintillations (ISS) of the microarcsecondsize soorten components. However, the scintillating components of a few extreme IDVs are characterized by the brightness temperatures far exceeding the TB = 1012 K limit. The relativistic beaming invoked in such sources would require Doppler factors up to as high as δ ~ 103.
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