Live data now available

Our first live data feed is now up and running, showing the neutral hydrogen spectrum as seen by our 21cm telescope, aimed at a declination of +40 degrees. This will show interstellar neutral hydrogen twice a day, for a couple of hours each time, when the galactic plane passes through the main beam of the antenna.

Check out our “Live Data” page for information.

Pulsar antenna mounts built, and antenna test-fit

Finished building the two “stands” for the pulsar antenna, which is a stack of garden-variety 4-bay HDTV antennae. This arrangement will give us an asymmetric beam, with a roughly 2:1 ratio, with the declination axis having a narrower angle than the right-ascension axis, somewhat like an ellipse.

This asymmetry will allow us to “see” the target pulsar for long enough to integrate the pulses synchronously for an extended period, without having to move the antenna at all. This lowers telescope complexity enormously, but compromises on sensitivity. We may add a 2nd “stack” of 3 4-bay antenna if this proves to be insufficiently sensitive.

We’re getting hydrogen spectra

Gary and his son, Andrew came over today and we got the hydrogen-line monitor set up temporarily on the lawn, next to the office.

A quick pic of the hallway display was snapped on the way out this evening with a nice hydrogen-line “bump” on the doppler-view of the spectral display.

21cm hydrogen telescope assembled onto support frame

Our small 21cm hydrogen-line radio telescope got mounted on its lumber support stand this evening, with the help of some student hangers-on.

Helpers (left to right) Edward, Chris, and Richard with our 21cm radio telescope.

Helpers (left to right) Edward, Chris, and Richard with our 21cm radio telescope.

The stand, with some concrete blocks will go onto the roof sometime soon, and will be pointed at a fixed +40degree declination, to capture interesting transits of the galactic plane twice a day.

Small workspace, and place for our hand-tools

Any experimental-science project requires a certain amount of improvisation, so it’s good to have tools around, and other bits-and-pieces that you might need. We have a small work surface now.

We’ll be bringing in test equipment and parts as well, as soon as we have a secure storage cabinet or lockers to put them in. The building itself is quite secure, but it’s best not to tempt those of light fingers…

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