Big-single dish radio astronomy observatories such as the 305-m Arecibo Observatory and the 500-m FAST (Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope) have made key breakthroughs in science, including the discovery of the first extrasolar planets. Recently, interferometric telescopes such as MeerKAT in South Africa, ASKAP (Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder), and CHIME (Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment) have opened up new observing windows. These experiments are all precursor to the SKA (Square Kilometer Array), whose construction will begin in 2021 and is expected to be the most sensitive radio telescope ever built.
Why this explosion of radio telescope projects?
What’s the scientific reasoning for building arrays separated across continents?
What challenges do astronomers and engineers face?
Finally, what kind of science are these arrays useful for and will SETI benefit from their capabilities?
To answer these questions, we invited two astronomers who have worked for years in the field of radio astronomy. Cherry Ng is a researcher at the Dunlap Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics in Canada. She has used the single-dish Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia and the CHIME (Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment) radio telescope for her research on neutron star and fast radio bursts. Evan Keane, an award-winning astrophysicist, works in time-domain radio astronomy and has been the Square Kilometer Array project scientist since 2015.
Cherry Ng and Evan Keane will describe their past, current and future work with radio telescopes, the potential of future facilities for their research and the SETI search.
Note change in start time from 9:45 AM to 10:00.
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