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ALMA Gains New Capability in its First VLBI Observation

ALMA Gains New Capability in its First VLBI Observation

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) recently combined its immense collecting area and sensitivity with that of the APEX (Atacama Pathfinder Experiment) Telescope to create a new, single instrument through a process known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). In VLBI, data from two independent telescopes are combined to form a virtual telescope that spans the geographic distance between them, yielding extraordinary magnifying power.

The new ALMA/APEX observation, which took place on January 13, was an essential proof-of-concept test for the planned Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), which eventually will include a global network of millimeter-wavelength telescopes. When fully assembled, the EHT – with ALMA as the largest and most sensitive site – will form an Earth-size telescope with the magnifying power required to see details at the edge of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

For this first-of-its-kind observation, ALMA and the nearby APEX telescope simultaneous studied a quasar known as 0522-364 – a distant galaxy commonly used for testing in radio astronomy due to its remarkable brightness. To ensure the telescopes were in sync, ALMA used its newly installed and exquisitely precise atomic clock (see ALMA announcement) to time-code the data as it was collected. This is essential for VLBI because it enables data taken at different geographical locations on different telescopes to be precisely matched and accurately integrated.

ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, has successfully combined its immense collecting area and sensitivity with that of APEX (Atacama Pathfinder Experiment) to create a new, single instrument through a process known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). This first successful observation using VLBI with ALMA used a baseline of 2.1 km, and was an essential proof-of-concept test for the planned Event Horizon Telescope, which eventually will include a global network of millimetre-wavelength telescopes. Crédito: Clem & Adri Bacri-Normier (wingsforscience.com)/ESO. | Download Image

The full dataset from the observing run was captured on hard drives and flown back to MIT where it will undergo full analysis. Due to the vast amount of information collected, air travel is the fastest means of data transmission, even faster than the fastest international Internet connection.

"The entire team is immensely gratified at achieving this success on the first VLBI attempt with ALMA. It marks a huge step toward making first images of a black hole with the Event Horizon Telescope," said Shep Doeleman, the principal investigator of the ALMA Phasing Project and assistant director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Haystack Observatory.

This most recent work was carried out by a team made up of members from the ALMA Phasing Project, the Joint ALMA Observatory, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the APEX Telescope.

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2 comentarios:

  1. Teoría Entrelazamiento Cuántico
    To attempt to overcome this weakness and close what they believe is a final loophole, the National Science Foundation has financed a group of physicists led by Dr. Kaiser and Alan H. Guth, also at M.I.T., to attempt an experiment that will have a better chance of ensuring the complete independence of the measurement detectors by gathering light from distant objects on different sides of the galaxy next year, and then going a step further by capturing the light from objects known as quasars near the edge of the universe in 2017 and 2018.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/22/science/quantum-theory-experiment-said-to-prove-spooky-interactions.html?hpw&rref=science&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=1

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    1. eoría entrelazamiento cuántico
      Para tratar de superar esta debilidad y cerrar lo que creen es una escapatoria final, la Fundación Nacional para la Ciencia ha financiado un grupo de físicos liderados por el Dr. Kaiser y Alan H. Guth, también en el MIT, para intentar un experimento que tendrán una mejor oportunidad de asegurar la total independencia de los detectores de medición mediante la recopilación de luz de objetos distantes en diferentes lados de la galaxia del próximo año y, a continuación, ir un paso más allá mediante la captura de la luz de los objetos conocidos como quásares cerca del borde del universo en 2017 y 2018 .
      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/22/science/quantum-theory-experiment-said-to-prove-spooky-interactions.html?hpw&rref=science&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=1

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