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The study of the sources of the slowly varying component at decimetre and centimetre wavelengths has been a major preoccupation of solar radio astronomers. Grating interferometers and other high-resolution aerial systems have enabled the separation of the S-component from the Sun’s total emission, and the study of individual sources. Nevertheless much of value remains to be derived from whole-sun intensity measurements—the most basic solar radio observation.
High-resolution surveys of the galactic radio emission show detailed structure both near the galactic plane and at high galactic latitudes. Some of this structure is describable as ‘spurs’ while the rest comprises isolated features. We describe here measurements of the spectral index of the background radiation with a resolution of 3°.5. These measurements are aimed at a detailed understanding of the high-latitude synchrotron emission.
The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) is carrying out a survey as part of an international collaboration to image the northe, at a common resolution, in emission from all major constituents of the interstellar medium; the neutral atomic gas, the molecular gas, the ionised gas, dust and relativistic plasma. For many of these constituents the angular resolution of the images (1 arcmin) will be more than a factor of 10 better than any previous studies. The aim is to produce a publicly-available database of high resolution, high-dynamic range images of the Galaxy for multi-phase studies of the physical states and processes in the interstellar medium. We will sketch the main scientific motivations as well as describe some preliminary results from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey/Releve Canadien du Plan Galactique (CGPS/RCPG).
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 Canadian Galactic Plane Survey (CGPS) is the largest effort of its kind to study and understand the Galactic Magnetic Field (GMF) and Interstellar Medium (ISM) in our Galaxy (see e.g. Taylor et al.2003). The CGPS has mapped the Galactic plane visible from DRAO on all spatial scales down to arcminute resolution in total intensity and polarized emission at νobs=1.4 GHz (see Landecker et al.2010). The latest results invoking Faraday rotation and polarization gradient studies of the CGPS are discussed.
The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory synthesis telescope (DRAO-ST) was used to produce a deep polarization mosaic at 1.4 GHz to a noise level of 45 microJy beam−1 for both Stokes Q and U at 1′ resolution. The DRAO deep field covers 8.6 sq. degrees in polarization centered on the ELAIS N1 field. We identified over 1700 total intensity (Stokes I) radio sources of which 197 are linearly polarized down to a flux density level of 203 microJy. The fractional polarization of faint polarized sources are flat down to a polarized flux density of about 4 mJy, at which point the numbers increase, until the counts drop for polarized flux densities below 1 mJy. These faint polarized radio sources are mostly AGNs with luminosities below the traditional FRI/FRII boundary. Follow-up observations with the VLA show that the origin of the polarization of the radio sources down to a polarized flux of 1 mJy comes from both the lobes and central region of these objects.
The Global Magneto-Ionic Medium Survey (GMIMS) is a project to map the diffuse polarized emission over the entire sky, Northern and Southern hemispheres, from 300 MHz to 1.8 GHz. With an angular resolution of 30–60 arcmin and a frequency resolution of 1 MHz or better, GMIMS will provide the first spectro-polarimetric data set of the large-scale polarized emission over the entire sky, observed with single-dish telescopes. GMIMS will provide an invaluable resource for studies of the magneto-ionic medium of the Galaxy in the local disk, halo, and its transition.
The south-eastern portion of the supernova remnant G78.2+2.1, in Cygnus, has been detected as a weak X-ray source by the Einstein Observatory. The X-ray structure is similar to that of the radio filaments in this region, and confirms that X-ray emission in this portion of the “Cygnus super-bubble” does originate in a known supernova remnant. Marginally significant variations in X-ray hardness across the mapped area have been detected and can be related to known radio and optical features of the remnant. In its X-ray properties, G78.2+2.1 resembles IC443.
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