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  • richardmitnick 9:30 am on August 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "‘Dancing ghosts’ a new and deeper scan of the sky throws up surprises for astronomers", A deep search returns many surprises., , , , , CSIRO’s new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP)-a radio telescope that probes deeper into the Universe than any other., CSIROscope (AU), , EMU will help us understand the birth of new stars in these galaxies., EMU: Evolutionary Map of the Universe (AU)., , The "Dancing Ghosts" were just one of several surprises found in our first deep search of the sky using ASKAP., The first big surprise from the EMU Pilot Survey was the discovery of mysterious Odd Radio Circles (ORCs) which seem to be giant rings of radio emission., When you boldly go where no telescope has gone before you are likely to make new discoveries.   

    From CSIROscope (AU): “‘Dancing ghosts’ a new and deeper scan of the sky throws up surprises for astronomers” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope (AU)

    at

    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

    4 Aug, 2021
    Ray Norris

    We saw two ghosts dancing deep in the cosmos. We had never seen anything like it before, and we had no idea what they were.

    1
    The two galaxies we think are responsible for the streams of electrons (shown as curved arrows) that form the “Dancing Ghosts”. But we don’t understand what is causing the filament labelled as 3.
    Image by Jayanne English and Ray Norris using data from EMU and the Dark Energy Survey (US).

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Dark Energy Survey

    Dark Energy Camera [DECam] built at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US)

    NOIRLab National Optical Astronomy Observatory(US) Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory(CL) Victor M Blanco 4m Telescope which houses the Dark-Energy-Camera – DECam at Cerro Tololo, Chile at an altitude of 7200 feet

    NOIRLab(US)NSF NOIRLab NOAO (US) Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory(CL) approximately 80 km to the East of La Serena, Chile, at an altitude of 2200 meters.

    Timeline of the Inflationary Universe WMAP

    The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is an international, collaborative effort to map hundreds of millions of galaxies, detect thousands of supernovae, and find patterns of cosmic structure that will reveal the nature of the mysterious dark energy that is accelerating the expansion of our Universe. DES began searching the Southern skies on August 31, 2013.

    According to Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, gravity should lead to a slowing of the cosmic expansion. Yet, in 1998, two teams of astronomers studying distant supernovae made the remarkable discovery that the expansion of the universe is speeding up. To explain cosmic acceleration, cosmologists are faced with two possibilities: either 70% of the universe exists in an exotic form, now called dark energy, that exhibits a gravitational force opposite to the attractive gravity of ordinary matter, or General Relativity must be replaced by a new theory of gravity on cosmic scales.

    DES is designed to probe the origin of the accelerating universe and help uncover the nature of dark energy by measuring the 14-billion-year history of cosmic expansion with high precision. More than 400 scientists from over 25 institutions in the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia are working on the project. The collaboration built and is using an extremely sensitive 570-Megapixel digital camera, DECam, mounted on the Blanco 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, high in the Chilean Andes, to carry out the project.

    Over six years (2013-2019), the DES collaboration used 758 nights of observation to carry out a deep, wide-area survey to record information from 300 million galaxies that are billions of light-years from Earth. The survey imaged 5000 square degrees of the southern sky in five optical filters to obtain detailed information about each galaxy. A fraction of the survey time is used to observe smaller patches of sky roughly once a week to discover and study thousands of supernovae and other astrophysical transients.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Scanning through data fresh off the telescope, we saw two ghosts dancing deep in the cosmos. We had never seen anything like it before, and we had no idea what they were.

    Several weeks later, we had figured out we were seeing two radio galaxies, about a billion light years away. In the centre of each one is a supermassive black hole, squirting out jets of electrons that are bent into grotesque shapes by an intergalactic wind.

    But where does the intergalactic wind come from? Why is it so tangled? And what is causing the streams of radio emission? We still don’t understand the details of what is going on here, and it will probably take many more observations and modelling before we do.

    We are getting used to surprises as we scan the skies in the Evolutionary Map of the Universe (AU) project, using CSIRO’s new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP)-a radio telescope that probes deeper into the Universe than any other.

    SKA-Square Kilometer Array

    [caption id="attachment_147867" align="alignnone" width="632"] SKA ASKAP Pathfinder Radio Telescope

    When you boldly go where no telescope has gone before you are likely to make new discoveries.

    A deep search returns many surprises.

    The “Dancing Ghosts” were just one of several surprises found in our first deep search of the sky using ASKAP. This search, called the EMU Pilot Survey, is described in detail in a paper soon to appear in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

    The first big surprise from the EMU Pilot Survey was the discovery of mysterious Odd Radio Circles (ORCs) which seem to be giant rings of radio emission, nearly a million light years across, surrounding distant galaxies.

    These had never been seen before, because they are so rare and faint. We still don’t know what they are, but we are working furiously to find out.

    We are finding surprises even in places we thought we understood. Next door to the well-studied galaxy IC5063, we found a giant radio galaxy, one of the largest known, whose existence had never even been suspected.

    This new galaxy too contains a supermassive black hole, squirting out jets of electrons nearly 5 million light years long. ASKAP is the only telescope in the world that can see the total extent of this faint emission.

    3
    The Galaxy NGC 7125 with EMU radio data (contours) overlaid on an optical image (coloured_ from the Dark Energy Survey. Image created by Baerbel Koribalski from EMU data and Dark Energy Survey data.

    What EMU can do

    Most known sources of radio emissions are caused by supermassive black holes in quasars and active galaxies, which produce exceptionally bright signals. This is because radio telescopes have always struggled to see the much fainter radio emission from normal spiral galaxies like our own Milky Way.

    The EMU project goes deep enough to see them too. EMU sees almost all the spiral galaxies in the nearby Universe that were previously seen only by optical and infrared telescopes. EMU can even trace the spiral arms in the nearest ones.

    EMU will help us understand the birth of new stars in these galaxies.

    These some of the first results the EMU project, which we started in 2009. The EMU team of more than 400 scientists in more than 20 countries has spent the past 12 years planning the project, developing techniques, writing software, and working with the CSIRO engineers who were building the telescope. It has been a long haul, but we are at last seeing the amazing data we have dreamed of for so long.

    But this is only the start. Over the next few years, EMU will use the ASKAP telescope to explore even deeper in the Universe, building on these discoveries and finding more. All the data from EMU will eventually be placed in the public domain, so that astronomers from around the world can mine the data and make new discoveries.

    But don’t take my word for it. You can already use EMU Pilot Survey data to explore the radio sky yourself, using the zoomable image on our website.

    Use your mouse wheel to zoom in from the big picture down to the finest details, and see what you find. Perhaps you may even discover something there that the astronomers have missed.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation , is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

    CSIRO works with leading organisations around the world. From its headquarters in Canberra, CSIRO maintains more than 50 sites across Australia and in France, Chile and the United States, employing about 5,500 people.

    Federally funded scientific research began in Australia 104 years ago. The Advisory Council of Science and Industry was established in 1916 but was hampered by insufficient available finance. In 1926 the research effort was reinvigorated by establishment of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which strengthened national science leadership and increased research funding. CSIR grew rapidly and achieved significant early successes. In 1949 further legislated changes included renaming the organisation as CSIRO.

    Notable developments by CSIRO have included the invention of atomic absorption spectroscopy; essential components of Wi-Fi technology; development of the first commercially successful polymer banknote; the invention of the insect repellent in Aerogard and the introduction of a series of biological controls into Australia, such as the introduction of myxomatosis and rabbit calicivirus for the control of rabbit populations.

    Research and focus areas

    Research Business Units

    As at 2019, CSIRO’s research areas are identified as “Impact science” and organised into the following Business Units:

    Agriculture and Food
    Health and Biosecurity
    Data 61
    Energy
    Land and Water
    Manufacturing
    Mineral Resources
    Oceans and Atmosphere

    National Facilities

    CSIRO manages national research facilities and scientific infrastructure on behalf of the nation to assist with the delivery of research. The national facilities and specialized laboratories are available to both international and Australian users from industry and research. As at 2019, the following National Facilities are listed:

    Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL)
    Australia Telescope National Facility – radio telescopes included in the Facility include the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Parkes Observatory, Mopra Observatory and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.

    .

    CSIRO Pawsey Supercomputing Centre AU)

    Others not shown

    SKA

    SKA- Square Kilometer Array

    .

     
  • richardmitnick 8:13 pm on July 20, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , CSIROscope (AU), , , The ASKAP team found a source known as AT2019osy that had nearly doubled in brightness over the course of a week. The smoking gun of a radio afterglow?   

    From CSIROscope (AU): “ASKAP searches for afterglow of gravitational wave” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope (AU)

    at

    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

    24 Jun, 2020 [Just found this anchored to another article in social media]
    Annabelle Young

    1
    Scientists have made a new gravitational waves discovery. Image credit: C. Knox/ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav).

    Scientists are puzzled by a new gravitational waves discovery. Have they discovered the heaviest neutron star or the lightest black hole ever observed?

    More than a century ago, Albert Einstein predicted massive objects like neutron stars and black holes produce ripples in space as they orbit one another and eventually merge in a violent clash.

    Gravitational waves from a black hole merger were first detected in 2015. Two years later researchers found not only gravitational waves but gamma-rays, light and radio waves from the merger of a pair of neutron stars.

    The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) discovered these gravitational waves or ‘ripples’ in space. It bagged three of its founders the 2017 Nobel prize in physics.

    3
    October 3, 2017
    The LIGO Laboratory, comprising LIGO Hanford, LIGO Livingston, Caltech, and MIT are excited to announce that LIGO’s three longest-standing and greatest champions have been awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics: Barry Barish and Kip Thorne of California Institute of Technology (US) and Rainer Weiss of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US).

    The announcement was made this morning by the Nobel Committee in Stockholm Sweden. First broadcast live, you can watch the recording here: Nobel Prize in Physics Announcement.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Caltech /MIT Advanced aLigo .


    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    LIGO’s system of lasers, mirrors and vacuum tubes make it the most precise ‘ruler’ on Earth. It’s capable of detecting these previously invisible ripples in space, which are smaller than the diameter of a proton.

    In August 2019, astronomers received an alert that LIGO had detected gravitational waves from a new type of event. The long-awaited merger of a suspected neutron star and a black hole!

    ASKAP on patrol for a gravitational waves discovery.

    Within minutes of receiving the alert, a team led by Professor Tara Murphy at The University of Sydney (AU) activated plans to use our ASKAP radio telescope [below]. They were searching for the afterglow produced by the merger.

    Because gravitational waves are so hard to detect, LIGO can’t pinpoint where these mergers occur. So, they send the astronomy community a ‘sky map’ indicating a region where the event happened. Often these maps cover as much as a quarter of the sky. This takes hundreds of hours to search using a regular telescope.

    ASKAP is equipped with novel receivers that give it a wide-angle lens on the sky. In one pointing, ASKAP can view an area of sky about the size of the Southern Cross.

    Coincidentally, the sky map sent by LIGO for the detection of this merger was about the same size as ASKAP’s field of view. This allowed Tara’s team to observe almost the whole area of the map at once.

    Nine days after the merger, the ASKAP team found a source known as AT2019osy that had nearly doubled in brightness over the course of a week. The smoking gun of a radio afterglow?

    “We immediately alerted thousands of astronomers involved in the gravitational wave follow-up effort, and telescopes across the world, and in space, began slewing to observe our candidate,” team member Dougal Dobie, a co-supervised PhD student at The University of Sydney and CSIRO said.

    False start but the tide’s rising.

    “Unfortunately, these observations suggested AT2019osy was produced by normal activity from the black hole at the centre of a galaxy and unrelated to the merger,” Dougal said.

    Continued ASKAP searches didn’t find any other candidates. This might seem disappointing but the ASKAP team say the effort was not wasted. A non-detection rules out several scenarios and helps place limits on the energy released during the merger.

    Hints of a deeper mystery

    Ongoing analysis of the LIGO data has shown the lack of a radio counterpart may even support the idea something unexpected is happening. The signal received by LIGO when a merger occurs depends on the mass of the two objects involved. Initial analysis suggested the merger of a neutron star and a black hole. But a recent announcement suggests this may not be the entire story.

    4
    In August of 2019, the LIGO-Virgo gravitational-wave network witnessed the merger of a black hole with 23 times the mass of our sun and a mystery object 2.6 times the mass of the sun. Scientists do not know if the mystery object was a neutron star or black hole, but either way it set a record as being either the heaviest known neutron star or the lightest known black hole. Image credit: R. Hurt (Caltech IPAC-Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (US)) Caltech/ MIT Advanced aLIGO (US)/California Institute of Technology (US)/Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US).

    “We may have discovered either the heaviest neutron star or the lightest black hole ever observed. If it really is a heavy neutron star, this will radically alter our understanding of nuclear matter in the densest, most extreme environments in the Universe,” Rory Smith from OzGrav-Monash University said.

    The presence or absence of a radio counterpart may help tip the balance one way or another.

    Catching the next wave

    The era of gravitational wave research is still young. As the sensitivity of LIGO improves, it will detect more mergers at even greater distances.

    “This is just the tip of the iceberg. ASKAP’s fast survey capability will enable us to probe the sky deeper and wider than ever before, playing a key role in understanding these mergers,” Tara said.

    We acknowledge the Wajarri Yamatji as the traditional owners of the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory site.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation , is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

    CSIRO works with leading organisations around the world. From its headquarters in Canberra, CSIRO maintains more than 50 sites across Australia and in France, Chile and the United States, employing about 5,500 people.

    Federally funded scientific research began in Australia 104 years ago. The Advisory Council of Science and Industry was established in 1916 but was hampered by insufficient available finance. In 1926 the research effort was reinvigorated by establishment of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which strengthened national science leadership and increased research funding. CSIR grew rapidly and achieved significant early successes. In 1949 further legislated changes included renaming the organisation as CSIRO.

    Notable developments by CSIRO have included the invention of atomic absorption spectroscopy; essential components of Wi-Fi technology; development of the first commercially successful polymer banknote; the invention of the insect repellent in Aerogard and the introduction of a series of biological controls into Australia, such as the introduction of myxomatosis and rabbit calicivirus for the control of rabbit populations.

    Research and focus areas

    Research Business Units

    As at 2019, CSIRO’s research areas are identified as “Impact science” and organised into the following Business Units:

    Agriculture and Food
    Health and Biosecurity
    Data 61
    Energy
    Land and Water
    Manufacturing
    Mineral Resources
    Oceans and Atmosphere

    National Facilities

    CSIRO manages national research facilities and scientific infrastructure on behalf of the nation to assist with the delivery of research. The national facilities and specialized laboratories are available to both international and Australian users from industry and research. As at 2019, the following National Facilities are listed:

    Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL)
    Australia Telescope National Facility – radio telescopes included in the Facility include the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Parkes Observatory, Mopra Observatory and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.

    .

    CSIRO Pawsey Supercomputing Centre AU)

    Others not shown

    SKA

    SKA- Square Kilometer Array

    .

     
  • richardmitnick 9:24 am on July 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Indigenous-owned ground station supports our NovaSAR-1 satellite research facility", , Centre for Appropriate Technology (CfAT)(AU)-Australia’s first and only Aboriginal owned-and-operated ground station provider., CSIROscope (AU), Data is sent to the CSIRO NovaSAR-1 Operations team so it can be processed and made available to registered users of CSIRO’s NovaSAR-1 national facility., , Orbiting at an altitude of about 600km NovaSAR-1 generates radio microwaves that bounce off the Earth’s surface., The NovaSAR-1 satellite uses a special type of radar known as Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). That means it can ‘see’ through clouds and smoke and even take images of Earth at night., UK Space NovaSAR-1 satellite (UK)-Auatralia has a 10% interest.   

    From CSIROscope (AU): “Indigenous-owned ground station supports our NovaSAR-1 satellite research facility” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope (AU)

    at

    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

    9 Jul, 2021
    Mikayla Keen

    We’re working with Australia’s first and only Aboriginal owned-and-operated ground station provider to bring NovaSAR-1 data down to Earth.

    Ground communications for our share of the NovaSAR-1 satellite will be managed by the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CfAT)(AU), Australia’s first and only Aboriginal owned-and-operated ground station provider.

    Our NovaSAR-1 satellite research facility is helping Australian researchers understand more about our Earth. Australia’s first and only Aboriginal owned-and-operated ground station provider is helping us bring that data down to Earth.

    The ground station, located near Alice Springs and owned by the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CfAT), will download the data from the satellite as it passes overhead.

    The satellite with radar vision

    The NovaSAR-1 satellite uses a special type of radar known as Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). That means it can ‘see’ through clouds and smoke and even take images of Earth at night.

    Orbiting at an altitude of about 600km NovaSAR-1 generates radio microwaves that bounce off the Earth’s surface. It then measures the strength of the signals that return to it. As a result, it uses those signals to build an image of objects and structures at ground level.

    Being able to see through cloud is particularly useful in tropical regions where optical satellites can’t image the land beneath the clouds.

    It can take high-resolution images, capturing objects as small as 6m long. For example, it can see a bus, but not a car, and it can’t track the movement of people.

    Earth observation researchers will be able to use images from the NovaSAR-1 satellite to understand what’s happening on Earth.

    1
    CfAT technicians put the finishing touches on the satellite dish for the earth ground station in Alice Springs. Image: Ekistica Ltd.

    Bringing NovaSAR-1 data down to Earth

    Taking the pictures is only the first step of the process. In order for researchers to use the data, it needs to be downloaded from the satellite. And that’s where CfAT comes in.

    Their satellite ground station near Alice Springs is in an ideal location to ‘see’ NovaSAR-1 as it passes overhead, and download the data it collected.

    This data is then sent to the CSIRO NovaSAR-1 Operations team so it can be processed and made available to registered users of CSIRO’s NovaSAR-1 national facility.

    Peter Renehan, CEO of CfAT, said the CfAT ground station brings together people, innovation and excellence. It also puts Aboriginal people at the forefront of Australia’s growing space sector.

    “Collaborating with CSIRO on projects like NovaSAR-1 supports CfAT’s future. It also helps us invest in innovative programs for Aboriginal people in the region.

    “We’re very excited about the future of this technology which we know has the potential to benefit many of our communities. They include our Indigenous rangers who look after land and sea country. Our communities can enhance their capability to utilise high-resolution imagery from space to help them do their jobs in more efficient ways,” he said.

    2
    The CfAT site is perfectly located for earth observation due to its vast distance from radio interference, clear line of sight to the horizon and access to fibre networks. Image: Since 1788 Productions.

    Aussie control

    Australia is one of the biggest users of Earth observation data. We use this data to forecast the weather, monitor crops and manage recovery from natural disasters. Until now, we’ve relied solely on data from foreign-owned and operated satellites.

    NovaSAR-1 is operated by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), who designed and manufactured the satellite. However, we manage a 10 per cent share of NovaSAR-1’s time. This means we can direct the satellite to take images anywhere in the world but primarily over Australia.

    Partnering with CfAT means we can also direct the collection of those images which is a first for Australian Earth observation.

    The facility contributes to the growth of the nation’s space industry through new remote sensing research. It also enables us to learn how to manage satellite operations, an important skill to support future Australian space missions.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation , is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

    CSIRO works with leading organisations around the world. From its headquarters in Canberra, CSIRO maintains more than 50 sites across Australia and in France, Chile and the United States, employing about 5,500 people.

    Federally funded scientific research began in Australia 104 years ago. The Advisory Council of Science and Industry was established in 1916 but was hampered by insufficient available finance. In 1926 the research effort was reinvigorated by establishment of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which strengthened national science leadership and increased research funding. CSIR grew rapidly and achieved significant early successes. In 1949 further legislated changes included renaming the organisation as CSIRO.

    Notable developments by CSIRO have included the invention of atomic absorption spectroscopy; essential components of Wi-Fi technology; development of the first commercially successful polymer banknote; the invention of the insect repellent in Aerogard and the introduction of a series of biological controls into Australia, such as the introduction of myxomatosis and rabbit calicivirus for the control of rabbit populations.

    Research and focus areas

    Research Business Units

    As at 2019, CSIRO’s research areas are identified as “Impact science” and organised into the following Business Units:

    Agriculture and Food
    Health and Biosecurity
    Data 61
    Energy
    Land and Water
    Manufacturing
    Mineral Resources
    Oceans and Atmosphere

    National Facilities

    CSIRO manages national research facilities and scientific infrastructure on behalf of the nation to assist with the delivery of research. The national facilities and specialized laboratories are available to both international and Australian users from industry and research. As at 2019, the following National Facilities are listed:

    Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL)
    Australia Telescope National Facility – radio telescopes included in the Facility include the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Parkes Observatory, Mopra Observatory and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.

    .

    CSIRO Pawsey Supercomputing Centre AU)

    Others not shown

    SKA

    SKA- Square Kilometer Array

    .

     
  • richardmitnick 10:28 am on May 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Who’s your friend when things get rough? It’s sentinels in the Southern Ocean", , CSIROscope (AU)   

    From CSIROscope (AU) at CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation : “Who’s your friend when things get rough? It’s sentinels in the Southern Ocean” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope (AU)

    at

    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

    3 May, 2021
    Matt Marrison

    Join the team on RV Investigator as they maintain ocean sentinels, helping them figure out our surrounding ocean and climate.

    1
    Operations 24-7: voyage Chief Scientist, Dr Elizabeth Shadwick (right), works with the deck crew to deploy a mooring. These sentinels help them figure out our surrounding ocean and climate. Image: Max McGuire.

    Come and science with me. And I will take you on a trip. Far across the sea.

    The vast oceans surrounding Australia are wild, rich in resources, and largely unexplored. In places, they transfer heat and gases like carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to the deep sea. In other places, they return nutrients back to the surface to sustain ocean life and ecosystems.

    To protect and manage our oceans, we need to understand them and their interactions with the atmosphere. These interactions can range in scale from day-night cycles to larger ocean-wide oscillations over decades. And, with impacts from climate change increasing, understanding these interactions has never been more important than it is now.

    Monitoring changes to the physics, chemistry and biology of the ocean requires sustained collection of data over long time periods.

    So, each year, our Research Vessel (RV) Investigator leaves port on important missions for the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS).

    Join us as we follow their journey south to maintain massive ocean infrastructure vital for monitoring our surrounding ocean and climate.

    Automated ocean sentinels

    Spread offshore around our coastline are arrays of giant automated moorings that maintain watch over our oceans.

    These are the IMOS deep-water mooring arrays. They form part of the national observing system that makes up IMOS, some of which has been in operation since the 1940s.

    During this past April, a team of 21 researchers and 20 crew on-board RV Investigator set sail from Hobart to maintain one of these deep-water arrays.

    Wild at any time, those on-board travelled to a particularly energetic area of the Southern Ocean near 47˚south. Their destination was the Southern Ocean Time Series (SOTS) site – a location where ocean-atmosphere interactions are at their extreme.

    At the SOTS site, an interaction between warm and cold bodies of water results in heat being carried far into the deep ocean. It’s a process that also supplies oxygen for deep ocean ecosystems.

    As the team departed Hobart, the skies grew dark, the sea grew rough.

    And the ship sailed on and on… and on and on and on and on.

    2
    In with the new: the team moves the SOFS-10 surface float into position. Image: Ben Arthur.

    Steadfastly standing watch

    If the weather is kind, it’s two days sailing to reach the SOTS site. At this location are two four-kilometre tall moorings anchored to the ocean floor.

    These are massive automated scientific sentinels bristling with sensors and instrumentation. They collect an impressive range of marine data every hour, of every day of the year, for the entire time they stand in place.

    Usually, this is about 12 months. But COVID-19 delayed the preceding year’s recovery, meaning nearly 16 months passed before the team on board could collect the moorings and their important data.

    The two moorings at this site each collect different data. Meet the SOFS and SAZ moorings:

    SOFS: air-sea flux surface mooring with subsurface biogeochemical sensors. This mooring collects a wide range of ocean and weather data, and measures CO2 levels in the ocean.
    SAZ: deep ocean sediment trap mooring. This mooring captures sediments sinking in the water column to study the transfer of carbon to the deep ocean.

    During the voyage, the team on-board deploys new SOFS and SAZ moorings. After that, they recover the old ones along with the important data their instruments contain.

    Each operation can take a full day or longer. As part of it, over four kilometres of wire and attached instruments are carefully deployed or brought back on-board RV Investigator.

    This is when you don’t want things to get rough.

    The Southern Ocean isn’t always your friend, and the operations can be highly challenging, even in the most benign conditions.

    3
    Out with the old: the team on board recovers the SOFS-9 surface float after a year in the Southern Ocean. Image: Max McGuire.

    Bringing it home

    With the old moorings safely recovered and stowed, and new ones in their place, the ship sets a course for home. This is when the process of downloading and analysing the data begins.

    The SOTS mooring array is part of Australia’s contribution to the international OceanSITES global network of time series observatories. It is one of the few comprehensive Southern Ocean sites globally.

    Deployments on this voyage continue the longest continuous collection of deep-ocean data in the Southern Ocean by any nation.

    The data collected is significant.

    The Southern Ocean (ocean south of 30°S) is responsible for about 40 per cent of the total global ocean uptake of human-induced CO2 emissions. And 75 per cent of the additional heat these emissions have trapped on Earth.

    Data collected by these and other arrays around our coastline helps map ocean currents and monitor changes in key biological drivers of ocean ecosystems and fisheries. Government, industry and others who work and play in the vast oceans around the Australian continent use this information to inform their planning and decision making.

    To our enduring ocean sentinels left to monitor these stormy seas, we say thanks. We’ll see you in 12 months.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation , is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

    CSIRO works with leading organisations around the world. From its headquarters in Canberra, CSIRO maintains more than 50 sites across Australia and in France, Chile and the United States, employing about 5,500 people.

    Federally funded scientific research began in Australia 104 years ago. The Advisory Council of Science and Industry was established in 1916 but was hampered by insufficient available finance. In 1926 the research effort was reinvigorated by establishment of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which strengthened national science leadership and increased research funding. CSIR grew rapidly and achieved significant early successes. In 1949 further legislated changes included renaming the organisation as CSIRO.

    Notable developments by CSIRO have included the invention of atomic absorption spectroscopy; essential components of Wi-Fi technology; development of the first commercially successful polymer banknote; the invention of the insect repellent in Aerogard and the introduction of a series of biological controls into Australia, such as the introduction of myxomatosis and rabbit calicivirus for the control of rabbit populations.

    Research and focus areas

    Research Business Units

    As at 2019, CSIRO’s research areas are identified as “Impact science” and organised into the following Business Units:

    Agriculture and Food
    Health and Biosecurity
    Data 61
    Energy
    Land and Water
    Manufacturing
    Mineral Resources
    Oceans and Atmosphere

    National Facilities

    CSIRO manages national research facilities and scientific infrastructure on behalf of the nation to assist with the delivery of research. The national facilities and specialized laboratories are available to both international and Australian users from industry and research. As at 2019, the following National Facilities are listed:

    Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL)
    Australia Telescope National Facility – radio telescopes included in the Facility include the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Parkes Observatory, Mopra Observatory and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.

    .

    CSIRO Pawsey Supercomputing Centre AU)

    Others not shown

    SKA

    SKA- Square Kilometer Array

    .

     
  • richardmitnick 12:42 pm on December 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Silence please! Why radio astronomers need things quiet in the middle of a WA desert", A remote outback station north of Perth in Western Australia is one of the best places in the world to operate telescopes that listen for radio signals from space., Arizona State University’s EDGES radio telescope, , , , , , CSIROscope (AU), It’s important these telescopes don’t pick up any other radio signals generated here on Earth that could interfere with their observations., Listening to the sky., Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, , , SKA Square KIlometer Array Australia, Strict rules on what can and can’t be used on site., These instruments detect whispers from space – radio waves that have travelled for billions of light-years before reaching Earth.   

    From CSIROscope (AU): “Silence please! Why radio astronomers need things quiet in the middle of a WA desert” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope (AU)

    23 Dec, 2020
    Kate Chow

    Come and check out the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)!

    1
    “Me (left) and my colleague Carol Wilson at the signs marking the start of the Australian Radio Quiet Zone WA.”

    A remote outback station about 800km north of Perth in Western Australia is one of the best places in the world to operate telescopes that listen for radio signals from space.

    It’s the site of CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) and is home to three telescopes (and soon a fourth when half of the Square Kilometre Array, the world’s largest radio telescope, is built there).

    Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a radio telescope array located at Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in the Australian Mid West. ASKAP consists of 36 identical parabolic antennas, each 12 metres in diameter, working together as a single instrument with a total collecting area of approximately 4,000 square metres.

    SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO).

    Arizona State University EDGES telescope in a radio quiet zone at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia.

    Future SKA Square KIlometer Array Australia

    But it’s important these telescopes don’t pick up any other radio signals generated here on Earth that could interfere with their observations.

    That’s why the observatory was set up with strict rules on what can and can’t be used on site.

    Listening to the sky

    One of the radio telescopes is the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) operated by CSIRO [above]. It’s actually an array of 36 individual antennas that work together as one large telescope.

    ASKAP can capture high-quality images and scan the whole sky, a bit like a wide-angle lens allowing you to see more through a single viewpoint. It has already found a niche as a finder and localiser of fast radio bursts. These are flashes of radio waves in space that last just milliseconds.

    The MRO site also hosts the Curtin University-led Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope [above], which has been peering into the universe’s “dark ages” and finding no trace of aliens.

    The other radio telescope is Arizona State University’s EDGES [above], which is looking for signals from the formation of stars and galaxies early in the universe.

    These internationally recognised instruments detect mere whispers from space – radio waves that have travelled for billions of light-years before reaching Earth to sources of unwanted radio frequency interference, known as RFI.

    RFI can be caused by radio transmitters, such as mobile phones, CB radios or even wi-fi devices. Electrical equipment such as power tools can also be a problem.

    3
    The Experiment to Detect the Global EoR Signature (EDGES) instrument.

    Way outback and beyond

    What makes the Murchison region an ideal operating environment for limiting RFI is the location has minimal human activity or occupancy. The Murchison Shire is the size of a small country but with a population of only 100 people.

    The Shire covers an area of 49,500km² — roughly the size of the Netherlands in Europe.

    With the help of the Commonwealth and Western Australia governments, significant regulatory protection has been established to protect the site.

    For example, the Australian Radio Quiet Zone Western Australia (ARQZWA), established by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, created a fixed zone around the MRO site to protect the telescopes from interference. Other groups intending to use transmitting equipment must seek permission first and follow any guidelines given.

    4
    The twin airlock-style RFI doors at the MRO control building.

    Switch off everything

    When staff go out to the site for the first time they get training about RFI, health and safety and indigenous culture.

    Mobile phones need to be turned off at all times (which is fine, because it’s too far from any mobile towers to work anyway).

    Bluetooth devices (wireless mice or fitness trackers) should be switched off or left behind, laptops should have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi switched off. The list goes on.

    The MRO control building has a double RFI door to enter through[above] – think airlock-style in any sci-fi movie.

    The site has a hybrid power station with solar panels that deliver up to 40% of the observatory’s power.

    During the day, when the clean energy system generates more power than the site requires, the excess energy is stored in a 2.5MWh lithium-ion battery, one of the largest in Australia.

    The design specifications of the MRO power station ensure the facility contains the RFI generated by its own electronic systems.

    5
    Aerial view of the MRO power station, which has an array of 5,280 solar panels and battery with RFI shielding.

    You can’t stop everything

    Unfortunately, as with all Earth-based locations, the telescopes receive RFI from orbiting satellites, which fall under international jurisdiction. The site also receives signals from aircraft safety beacons on commercial flights over the region.

    Astronomers have developed software to remove this RFI from data as it usually overwhelms any astronomical signals.

    We’ve also had several recorded occasions (usually during summer) when radio signals from as far away as Perth have been detected, due to atmospheric ducting. This is where the atmosphere effectively “guides” the radio waves much further than they would normally travel, due to changes in the atmospheric layers. Fortunately this is very rare.

    The MRO has been in existence for about ten years, one of the newest such observatories in the world, but the 3,450km² Boolardy pastoral station on which it stands was established back in the 1850s.

    The traditional owners are the Wajarri Yamatji, who have lived in the region for tens of thousands of years. Together we negotiated an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) in 2009 for the current telescopes, and we are negotiating a second one to allow the construction of the SKA.

    Protection of the indigenous heritage is a significant component of this agreement and a major responsibility for the Australian government, CSIRO and the SKA organisation.

    We also work collaboratively with neighbouring pastoralists to ensure they can carry on their daily work, including practices such as mustering, in a way that is compatible with radio astronomy.

    Due to the remoteness of the MRO and the radio quiet rules and regulations, even those involved with the projects are discouraged from visiting (I’ve only been to the site once). Tourists are discouraged. We’ve distributed fact sheets to locals and visitor centres to explain this in more detail.

    But you can visit the site remotely. We’ve created a cool techy replacement where you can take a virtual tour of this unique and wondrous place.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a radio telescope array located at Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in the Australian Mid West. ASKAP consists of 36 identical parabolic antennas, each 12 metres in diameter, working together as a single instrument with a total collecting area of approximately 4,000 square metres.

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU) , is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:33 am on November 25, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Butterfly effect: our national biodiversity database turns 10!", A biodiversity database can help in current times., ALA’s contribution to research, Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), CSIROscope (AU), More than 2300 scientific publications have now referenced the ALA., The future of ALA, We’ve been making Australian biodiversity information accessible to the world for a decade.   

    From CSIROscope (AU): “Butterfly effect: our national biodiversity database turns 10!” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope (AU)

    25 November 2020
    Alex Horvat

    1
    The Atlas of Living Australia has grown into the most comprehensive dataset on Australian biodiversity. It includes data from collections of insects like these beetles.

    The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) has just turned 10! Why is this important? It means we’ve been making Australian biodiversity information accessible to the world for a decade.

    Since 2010, the ALA has grown into the most comprehensive dataset on Australian biodiversity. You can now access more than 91 million biodiversity occurrence records and more than 700 biodiversity datasets! These records and data come from our partners across museums, natural history collections, herbaria, universities, government and the community.

    To celebrate the past decade, we take a look at ALA’s contribution to research and speak to both the inaugural and current ALA Directors.

    ALA’s contribution to research

    The ALA brings together biodiversity data, taxonomic information, spatial and historical information on species distributions and environmental data. These datasets are central to the research areas of ecology, conservation biology, environmental planning, ecological management and sustainability.

    The ALA’s contribution to research in these fields has steadily increased over the last 10 years. More than 2300 scientific publications have now referenced the ALA. This research has resulted in great impact.

    For example, researchers have used data from ALA to understand changes in platypus numbers over the last 150 years. They have used data to identify rare species thriving in Australian towns and cities and understand complex migration behaviour in insects that would otherwise go undetected. Images uploaded by our users are stored to build apps that can automatically identify Australian insects in the field.

    ALA has also played a leadership role in developing the international Living Atlases community. The Living Atlases community was established by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) to help countries around the world develop biodiversity infrastructure based on the ALA’s open source platform. By developing this platform, we have helped establish 27 atlases internationally.

    2
    Our national biodiversity database turns 10! We’ve broken it down into some handy stats.

    Our biodiversity database in the early days

    Donald Hobern was the inaugural ALA Director. He played a pivotal role in shaping the ALA into what it is today. In the early days, he was very excited because the team were highly engaged and eager. Australia was the perfect candidate for a platform like the ALA.

    “One of the real advantages we have in Australia is that the continent is so well defined and matches up perfectly with the country boundaries, politics, funding and public interest. Add in the uniqueness of the Australian biota and you have a really well-defined scope for something like the ALA,” Donald said.

    “Doing something similar in Europe would have been much harder. Limiting our understanding of national biodiversity to the borders of the country would make little sense. So, in some ways, something like the ALA could not have developed as fast and as completely in other places.”

    The future of ALA

    The current ALA Director, Dr Andre Zerger, sees a bright future for the ALA. He said it will need to evolve over the next decade to address the emerging expectations of its users.

    “With over 90 million biodiversity occurrence records and with over 75,000 registered users, the ALA value-proposition has been proved. This means our users now have new expectations of us,” Andre said.

    “For instance, new technologies in advanced imaging and genetics produce valuable data of importance to our users. However, this type of data challenges the ALA information technology architecture,” he said.

    Donald also shared his thoughts on the future of ALA.

    “It’s inevitable that our sources of data will change in the coming years. We should see more and more data from genomic analysis of various kinds,” Donald said.

    DNA-based surveys will give us much more standardised and repeatable views of biodiversity that are difficult to survey today. Once field-based automated sequencing becomes a possibility, growing and improving libraries of DNA sequences will transform platforms like the ALA.

    “Right now, our largest source of data is overwhelmingly from bird observations. In the future, I hope we’ll get good data on fungi, soil invertebrates and marine organisms. If we also add in what we can interpret from satellite imagery, we should be able to move to near-real-time monitoring of fluctuations and trends in biodiversity,” he said.

    A biodiversity database can help in current times

    Now, more than ever, it’s important we maintain this comprehensive, representative and usable biodiversity infrastructure. It has the power to improve our understanding of the impact of current and future bushfires on biodiversity. It can also help to design ecological restoration programs.

    The ALA, through its contribution to the GBIF, can also provide data to better prepare and respond to pandemics. It can help scientists understand how zoonotic diseases could behave on a global scale. This helps Australia to efficiently and effectively deal with biosecurity risks that can impact both our environment and economy.

    We’d like to thank all our partners who have made the ALA such a success. Thank you to the museums, collections, herbaria, research teams, governments, community groups and citizen scientists, for observing, recording, collecting, digitising, preserving and documenting our wonderful biodiversity.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a radio telescope array located at Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in the Australian Mid West. ASKAP consists of 36 identical parabolic antennas, each 12 metres in diameter, working together as a single instrument with a total collecting area of approximately 4,000 square metres.

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU) , is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:03 pm on November 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Murriyang: Parkes radio telescope receives Indigenous name", , , , , CSIROscope (AU),   

    From CSIROscope (AU): “Murriyang: Parkes radio telescope receives Indigenous name” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope (AU)

    9 November 2020
    Louise Jeckells

    The iconic Parkes radio telescope has received a special honour from Australia’s first scientists and astronomers. Wiradjuri Elders gave the 64-metre telescope a traditional Indigenous name during NAIDOC Week. It’s name is Murriyang.

    A walk in the Parkes
    24 July 2019
    Georgia Kelleher

    We came. We saw. We left Parkes and Tidbinbilla feeling more starry-eyed than ever before.

    This weekend over 20,000 Aussies joined us in Parkes and Tidbinbilla to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission. Apollo 11 saw humankind set foot on the Moon.

    Our lucky attendees watched The Dish at the Dish, admired cars from the era, heard from Aussie astronaut Dr Andy Thomas, took tours with space experts, and watched the Moon landing in real time. All while spacing out to our splendid space soundtrack.

    1
    Larry Marshall asks the crowd “Who loves Australian science?” Well, it appears we aren’t the only ones.

    2
    Safety first! We ran back-to-back tours all day on Saturday and Sunday. And showed over 2000 people inside our Dish at Parkes.

    3
    The Parkes Open Days included a celebration of vintage cars from the 1960s. You may have seen these automobiles many moons ago…

    4
    The the former Honeysuckle Creek dish used to broadcast footage of the Apollo 11 Moon landing is now located at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex.

    NASA Canberra, AU, Deep Space Network. Credit: NASA.

    6
    Visitors got to peak inside the Dish. Do you recognise the background of this photo from the film?!

    6
    We woolly love science! We had some keen sheep visit our Tidbinbilla site for the Moon-landing celebrations.

    8
    What better way to end the day than watching The Dish at the Dish?

    In the Wiradjuri Dreaming, Biyaami (Baiame) is a prominent creator spirit. The stars that portray the Orion constellation also represent this spirit. Murriyang represents the ‘Skyworld’ where Biyaami lives.

    This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is Always Was, Always Will Be. It recognises that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have occupied and cared for this continent for more than 65,000 years. It also recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first navigators, engineers, farmers, diplomats, botanists, artists, scientists and astronomers.

    8
    Our iconic 64-metre Parkes radio telescope has been given the Wiradjuri name Murriyang, which represents the ‘Skyworld’ where a prominent creator spirit of the Wiradjuri Dreaming, Biyaami (Baiame), lives. Credit: D. McClenaghan/CSIRO.

    Choosing an Indigenous name

    Dr Stacy Mader, a Gidja man from Western Australia, is an astronomer and Senior Experimental Scientist at our Parkes Observatory. He was responsible for organising the traditional naming ceremony.

    “The local Wajarri Yamatji people in Western Australia named all 36 of our Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) antennas, with a plaque placed on each antenna, and names built into the control software,” Stacy said.

    “So when we got the same software for the 64-metre antenna at Parkes, the Aboriginal name was ‘not applicable’. I thought, we should probably fix that. And that’s how this process started.”

    So, Stacy set off to find the Traditional Owners to name the antennas.

    “The Wiradjuri nation is a large part of New South Wales, so finding the local Elders was a little tricky. There are no Traditional Owners who live in Parkes,” he said.

    “Eventually, I was set on the right path by Trevor Leaman, a cultural astronomer in Orange. He is studying Wiradjuri astronomical traditions in the School of Humanities and Language at the University of New South Wales.

    “But I was happy to spend the time looking because it’s very important to know you’re talking to the right people.”

    Stacy then invited Wiradjuri Elders from the local region to the Parkes site to show them around the telescopes and the grounds. They got a feel for the area, wildlife and background of the telescopes. The Elders then came back to Stacy with their chosen names.

    Two more ‘smart’ telescopes get new names

    It wasn’t just the 64-metre telescope that received the honour. Two more telescopes on site also received Wiradjuri names. These telescopes also have historical and technological significance to the development of radio astronomy in Australia.

    Giyalung Guluman

    Means ‘smart dish’. This is now the name of a decommissioned 18-metre antenna. It was assembled at our Fleurs Radio Telescope Site, Penrith NSW, in 1960, and moved to Parkes in 1963. It started operating in 1965. The antenna, when linked to the 64-meter antenna, was pivotal in early work to determine the size and brightness of radio sources in the sky. And having the ability to move the antenna along a railway to observe was a smart way of doing things.

    Giyalung Miil

    Means ‘smart eye’. This is now the name of the local 12-metre antenna. Commissioned in 2008, the telescope was a test bed for technology now used on the 36 antennas of ASKAP. These antennas use a special type of receiver. A phased array feed that is capable of looking at different parts of the sky at once. This ‘faceted eye’ is certainly a smart one.

    9
    Cultural dancers performed at the naming ceremony. Image credit: C. Watson/CSIRO.

    Importance of recognition

    We have a Reconciliation Action Plan. This plan confirms our commitment to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the oldest living culture in the world. Firstly, it recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first people of Australia. Secondly, it respects their enduring connection to lands, skies, waters, plants and animals.

    By giving the telescopes their traditional names, we acknowledge the astronomical knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Wiradjuri language.

    We acknowledge the Wiradjuri People as the traditional owners of the Parkes Observatory. We also acknowledge the Wajarri Yamatji as the traditional owners of the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory.

    Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a radio telescope array located at Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in the Australian Mid West. ASKAP consists of 36 identical parabolic antennas, each 12 metres in diameter, working together as a single instrument with a total collecting area of approximately 4,000 square metres.

    SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO).

    SKA Square KIlometer Array Australia Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO).


    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a radio telescope array located at Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in the Australian Mid West. ASKAP consists of 36 identical parabolic antennas, each 12 metres in diameter, working together as a single instrument with a total collecting area of approximately 4,000 square metres.

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU) , is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:37 am on October 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Meet our researcher- Dr Chenoa Tremblay", , , , , CSIROscope (AU),   

    From CSIROscope (AU): “Meet our researcher- Dr Chenoa Tremblay” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope (AU)

    20 October 2020
    Kitty Drok

    1
    Dr Chenoa Tremblay is harnessing the power of supercomputers to analyse extremely sensitive radio telescope signals. This could give us our first potential evidence of life outside our Solar System. Credit: Pawsey Supercomputing Centre (AU).

    Supercomputers are critical for researchers to conduct high-impact research. They’re used in fields such as medicine, meteorology, artificial intelligence, and radio astronomy – just to name a few.

    But big problems often have complex solutions, and computing these solutions takes time and energy. Two important factors when you’ve solving global issues while protecting the planet.

    Currently, more than 1600 researchers use the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre to support their computing-intensive projects.

    Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, Perth (AU)

    Magnus Cray XC40 supercomputer

    Galaxy Cray XC30 Series Supercomputer

    Fujisto Raijin supercomputer

    Fujitsu Raijin Supercomputer

    Pausey HPE Cray EX supercomputer.

    Pawsey’s new HPE Cray EX supercomputer will boost Australia’s research capabilities to advance missions from understanding human viruses to discovering new galaxies.

    These projects include discovering new galaxies, developing improved diagnostic tests for coronaviruses, and finding AI-enabled ways to reduce herbicide use.

    Australia is backing our research community with the purchase of a new supercomputer at Pawsey. The supercomputer will enable future high-impact Australian research projects by delivering 30 times more compute power than its predecessor systems. All while only increasing energy requirements by 50 per cent.

    What better way to celebrate the newest system than to meet a researcher who uses supercomputing in her everyday work?

    Pausey (AU) HPE Cray EX supercomputer depiction.

    From a love of maths to the Milky Way

    From an early age, Chenoa had an interest in maths. “I’d be working on the family farm with my grandfather and he’d always challenge me with maths problems to do in my head,” she recalls.

    In high school her interest in science grew after taking more specific subjects like chemistry and physics. But surprisingly, a career in science was never an ambition.

    “Growing up in a very small rural community I just didn’t have those sorts of role models. Science was what you saw smart people doing on TV,” Chenoa explains.

    “I was familiar with farming and small business, so I thought I could funnel my maths interest into accounting and business. But I didn’t enjoy business school at all. My university roommate was studying biology and chemistry and I was spending more time helping her with her homework than doing my own!

    “My friends eventually convinced me I could be a scientist too. So I started studying chemistry at university and absolutely loved it.”

    Science with supercomputers

    Chenoa uses spectroscopy, the interactions of light and matter, to look for molecules in the gas layers around stars. Molecules in space are bombarded with energy from nearby stars. They can then absorb and re-emit that energy at specific frequencies based on their structure. And, much like our fingerprints, each molecule’s energy signature is unique. Chenoa uses radio telescopes to collect signals across a range of narrow-frequency bands to build up and identify those full-spectrum energy signatures.

    “That’s why we need supercomputers to do this sort of research,” Chenoa said.

    “We image the sky over a lot of very narrow frequency bands and process all of that information independently. This is to pinpoint the energy absorptions and emissions to specific frequencies with the resolution we need to identify the molecules out there.

    “Doing this on my laptop would take 25 years. Pawsey’s supercomputing systems have brought some of our research timelines from years down to days. This gives us the power we need to analyse hundreds of thousands of images quickly. With the signals being very weak, finding new ones will require even more data to crunch.”

    Unique solutions for universal problems

    Chenoa is working with her research partners to push the study of molecules in space to lower radio frequencies than ever before.

    “In the colder regions of space, much larger molecules should be more stable, and emit at these lower frequencies,” she said.

    “It’s a very sensitive frequency range to study the chemistry of cold gases. As the emissions are not very intense or energetic we need very powerful new telescopes like the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) and our own Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), which are both precursors to the future Square Kilometre Array (SKA), to find them.”

    The Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in outback Western Australia will house up to 130,000 antennas like these and the associated advanced technologies.

    SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO).

    EDGES telescope in a radio quiet zone at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia.

    SKA Square KIlometer Array Australia Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO).

    2
    The centre of the Milky Way as seen by the Galactic Centre Molecular Line Survey with the Murchison Widefield Array telescope. Credit: Chenoa Tremblay (ICRAR-Curtin).

    Defining star formation

    Chenoa’s work is defining the relative importance of different mechanisms of star formation, and how they influence how galaxies evolve. She’s also laying the groundwork to identify ‘biotracers’ – more complex molecules like amino acids and proteins in space with the SKA.

    “We already know so much about star formation and the molecules in space. But about 85 per cent of the molecules we’ve found in space are based on carbon,” Chenoa said.

    “And we don’t know why. It may be because stars produce a lot of carbon, and it’s easy to make lots of molecules out of it. But we’ve only been looking in the higher frequencies. Carbon may be important to life in general, but we’ve only looked in certain ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum. Looking for atoms and molecules at lower radio frequencies could give us a more complete picture of our place in the Universe.”

    Acknowledgements

    Pawsey is an unincorporated joint venture of us, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia.

    The new supercomputer is part of Pawsey’s Capital Refresh Program, which is being delivered under a $70 million grant from the Australian Government announced in 2018 to upgrade Pawsey’s supercomputing infrastructure. Pawsey is also supported by the Australian Government under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) through the Department of Education. The Centre would also like to acknowledge the support provided by the Western Australian Government and its partner organisations.

    We acknowledge the Wajarri Yamatji as the traditional owners of the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory site, where the MWA and ASKAP telescopes are located.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a radio telescope array located at Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in the Australian Mid West. ASKAP consists of 36 identical parabolic antennas, each 12 metres in diameter, working together as a single instrument with a total collecting area of approximately 4,000 square metres.

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU) , is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:52 am on October 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Negotiating an international astronomy treaty to help reveal the hidden Universe", , , , , CSIROscope (AU), , ,   

    From CSIROscope (AU): “Negotiating an international astronomy treaty to help reveal the hidden Universe” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope (AU)

    19 October 2020
    Annabelle Young

    1
    Negotiating an international astronomy treaty: A major milestone was achieved in 2019 when the SKA Convention was signed in Rome. The Australian delegation included representatives from the Australian Government, CSIRO and ICRAR.

    What goes into negotiating an international astronomy treaty? Our astrophysicist Dr Sarah Pearce recently represented Australia in the international negotiations to establish the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Observatory as an intergovernmental organisation.

    When it’s established, the SKA Observatory will oversee the delivery of the world’s largest radio telescopes.

    Sarah was the chief science negotiator for the Australian team, which was led by Patricia Kelly from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. Other team members included SKA Australia’s director David Luchetti, a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade representative, and DISER’s Counsellor in Brussels. Most teams included a mix of government and science representatives. But Australia was the only country to be led by a woman throughout the negotiations.

    So, what goes into negotiating an international treaty? Sarah takes us behind-the-scenes.

    Australia in international astronomy treaty

    There are 15 countries involved in the SKA project, but Australia is one of two telescope host countries. This means we will have a critical role in the operation of the telescopes.

    SKA- Square Kilometer Array

    SKA- South Africa.

    Originally from the UK, Sarah calls herself a “relatively new Aussie” and was proud to represent Australia.

    “Australia is making a significant investment and I was pleased to have the opportunity to make sure these negotiations were successful for the international project, and for Australia in particular,” Sarah said.

    The negotiations started in Brussels in 2015, and then moved to four plenary negotiations in Rome. Sarah chaired the SKA working group on operations and access. This working group looked at two policies. They held regular meetings and then took drafts of the policies to the full plenary for approval.

    Negotiating the access policy was a delicate process. The working group had to balance the interests of all countries around the table on central topics such as access to time on the telescopes for non-member countries. Sarah was able to lead all the parties to a satisfactory end-point through empathy and constructive reasoning.

    2
    Sarah Pearce was the chief science negotiator for SKA Australia.

    Finding the balance

    The SKA is a mega-science project and the end-goal of these high-stakes negotiations for Australia and all the partner countries was to get agreement to build the SKA.

    For Sarah, the key challenge was balancing the needs of the SKA host countries – Australia, South Africa and the UK – with other partners. This required real collaboration and compromise to make sure all the parties could return with a deal to which their governments could commit.

    Another challenge was dealing with teams from different cultures. They all had different ways of approaching the negotiations.

    “Australians typically like to be quite direct in these negotiations – putting the issues on the table. But not all countries address negotiations that way,” Sarah said.

    The Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in outback Western Australia will house up to 130,000 antennas like these and the associated advanced technologies.

    The biggest lesson and greatest moment

    Sarah said the importance of really understanding the negotiating position of other countries was key to success throughout the five-year experience.

    “Not just listening to what they say but understanding why they’ve taken that position. Therefore, where there might be room to move or compromise. Also, the criticality of informal discussions in the breaks and over dinner, to address the really complex issues,” she said.

    And although there must have been many memorable moments along the way, Sarah was chuffed when the Convention Plenary signed off the operations and access policies.

    “I’d been through more than a dozen drafts with the working group and there were just two or three difficult issues remaining. It was exciting to lead the Plenary through these,” she said.

    In 2019, the Australian team shared in the joy of witnessing the signing of the Convention in Rome. The Australian Ambassador to Italy Dr Greg French signed the Convention – imagine the thrill!

    Sarah reflected that the biggest positive from the negotiations was all the countries were really trying to achieve the same thing.

    “Every country has their own individual priorities, whether it’s procurement rules or telescope access. But in the end, we were all trying to establish a new international Observatory for the next 50 years. Overall, it was a really positive experience,” she said.

    3
    His Excellency, General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of Australia, authorising Australia’s ratification of the SKA Observatory Convention.

    Building a future

    In September, the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews announced that Australia had ratified the SKA Observatory Convention. This brings Sarah’s role in the negotiations to a successful end. She will now help lead Australia through its role in building and operating the SKA.

    Australia has joined South Africa, Italy and the Netherlands as SKA Convention signatories. And when the United Kingdom completes its ratification process, the SKA Observatory will be created. This will set up the SKA for the next 50 years as an intergovernmental organisation. Member countries are committing 10 years of funding which will enable the SKA telescopes to be built.

    SKA Observatory headquarters are in the UK, and the SKA telescopes will be built in Australia and South Africa. The Australian SKA site is our Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory. It’s 800km north of Perth in Western Australia on the traditional land of the Wajarri Yamaji. Australia will host the SKA-Low frequency telescopes, consisting of up to 130,000 antennas.

    This is the first time Australia has hosted a mega-science project and Sarah said it shows the world that we’re a leader in radio astronomy.

    Does this sound like you? Advice from Sarah for anyone keen to take a seat at an international treaty negotiating table, is to start small. Take any opportunity to get involved with international collaborations and to lead small projects. Get to know people from different cultures and build experience.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a radio telescope array located at Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in the Australian Mid West. ASKAP consists of 36 identical parabolic antennas, each 12 metres in diameter, working together as a single instrument with a total collecting area of approximately 4,000 square metres.

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU) , is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
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