2020年10月9日

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The Very Large Array at Moonset
Image Credit:
Jeff Hellermann, NRAO / AUI / NSF

Explanation: An inspirational sight, these giant dish antennas of the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) rise above the New Mexico desert at moonset. Mounted on piers but transportable on railroad tracks to change the VLA’s configuration, its 27 operating antennas are each house-sized (25 meters across) and can be organized into an array spanning the size of a city (35 kilometers). A prolific radio astronomy workhorse, the VLA has been used to discover water on planet Mercury, radio-bright coronae around stars, micro-quasars in our Galaxy, gravitationally-induced Einstein rings around distant galaxies, and radio counterparts to cosmologically distant gamma-ray bursts. Its vast size has allowed astronomers to study the details of radio galaxies, super-fast cosmic jets, and map the center of our own Milky Way. Now 40 years since its dedication the VLA has been used in more than 14,000 observing projects and contributed to more than 500 Ph.D. dissertations. On October 10, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory will host a day-long online celebration of the VLA at 40 featuring virtual tours and presentations on the history, operations, science, and future of the Very Large Array.

Tomorrow’s picture: light-weekend


月落时分的特天线阵
影像提供:
Jeff Hellermann, NRAO/AUI/NSF

说明: 月落时,这些伫立在美国.新墨西哥沙漠的央斯基特大天线阵(VLA)之巨型天线碟,是深具启发性的景观。特大天线阵共有27个安置在铁轨上的天线碟,每个碟面宽为25公尺,大小约和一座房屋相当,合起来可构成一个和城市相近,跨幅约35公里的天线阵。特大天线阵是个成果很丰硕的天文设施,众多的成就包括:发现星有水、恒星周围在无限电波段很明亮的冕环、我们银河系的微类星体、遥远星系周围的爱因斯坦环、以及位于宇宙深处的伽玛射线爆之无线电对应体。它庞大的阵列面,让天文学家得以详细研究电波星系、超快宇宙喷流、和为我们银河系的中心造影。在启用后的40年后,特大天线阵已参与14,000多个观测计画,为500多篇博士学位论文提供数据。在10月10日,美国国家电波天文台将主办一整天的线上活动,以庆祝特大天线阵启用40周年。活动的内容有虚拟导览,以及关于特大天线阵历史、操作、科学和未来的简报。

明日的图片: light-weekend

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