Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics)


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Research interests

It was realised that a much clearer understanding of the nature of astronomical sources could be found when our data cover a range of different wavelengths, since we then explore different aspects of these sources. Radio telescopes can produce maps of radio emission on the sky, and if these maps are produced with sufficient resolution, we essentially obtain images of sources at radio wavelengths.

Further, if data from widely separated telescopes are combined known as interferometry , the resolution obtained is equivalent to that of a telescope with a diameter equal to the separation of those telescopes- and this could be thousands of kilometres. This idea can be extended to combining telescopes on Earth with some in space, or space-borne arrays for very large separations. This method allows us to produce the highest resolution obtainable in images at any wavelength. Also, radio observations can be done with very high time resolution- for example, observations of pulsars with rotational periods measured in milliseconds.

Since people were using radio for communications since the 's, the basic technology for detecting and generating radio waves had been known for some decades prior to the discovery of astronomical sources of radio waves. Radio telescopes vary in form from simple antennae possibly even just fixed wires , through to larger fixed arrays -such as the early Mills Cross in the early days of Australian radiophysics - to the classical steerable radio dish, exemplified by the Parkes radio telescope. Recent developments include the Square Kilometre Array SKA and its predecessor instruments, which utilise arrays of fixed antennae, with sophisticated data-processing and analysis routines to allow simultaneous multi-directional and multi-frequency observations.

An example of positional alignment between gamma-ray intensity blue contours and interstellar medium gas emission colour scale.


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Staff and students utilise radio data at millimetre and sub-millimetre wavelengths to complement and support observations in gamma-rays. Within our galaxy, gamma-ray photons can arise from the interaction of cosmic ray particles with the interstellar medium ISM in our galaxy, and thus these radio observations help us to determine more clearly the production of these gamma-rays by mapping and.

Also, these radio observations are undertaken in part to look for spatial co-incidence between the radio and the gamma-ray sources, since a considerable fraction of our galactic gamma-ray sources are of an unidentified nature. Multi-wavelength observations can help to elucidate the nature of these unidentified sources. Key contact : Associate Professor Gavin Rowell. Gravitational wave astronomy is a revolutionary new area of astronomy and astrophysics. These waves provide information about the evolution of the universe which was previously not available through electromagnetic radiation or particle-based observations.

Gravitational waves provide a new way of sensing the universe and observing its early history. Our group was an active contributor to the first successful detection of gravitational waves in In the collision of two neutron stars was observed for the first time and the resulting waveforms gave insight into the structure of the most extreme nuclear matter in the universe.

These systems will enable the laser beams used in the LIGO and Virgo detectors to be constantly monitored and adjusted during use, which will significantly increase detection rates and fidelity. The next step will be a range of next-generation detectors. This may allow detectors to routinely observe gravitational waves from coalescing black holes and neutron stars, and search the universe for previously undetectable new sources. A low-resolution spectral image of Eta Carinae.

Space Science / Particle Astrophysics

Wavelength increases from left to right. The bright dots are emission lines in the star's spectrum. This branch of astronomy utilises the optical wavelengths, which range from about nanometres nm, 10 -9 metres to nm. It is the oldest observing regime in astronomy, since the original detector used for observations was the human eye. Generally, the eye is sensitive from about nm to nm or so, but with the addition of detector hardware such as photographic emulsions, photo-multiplier tubes and solid-state detectors such as CCD cameras, the range has been extended to include some of the near ultra-violet and the near infra-red.

A phase plot of the eclipsing cataclysmic binary system V Cen. Data from , including one night in when the system was in an unusually bright state; this system shows significant changes in behaviour over time. As the technology available to optical astronomers has advanced over the centuries, we now have three main data-gathering methods:. An optical telescope is used both to form a detailed image of an astronomical object and also, very importantly, to collect more light i. This second point means that we can make more accurate measurements of that light, and thus determine the properties of that source more accurately and precisely.

A detector most commonly an electronic detector such as a CCD camera is placed near the telescope focus and may be preceded by a spectrograph for spectroscopic observations or a filter in order to restrict the observations to a particular smaller range of wavelengths. Whilst the majority of observations are done from the Earth's surface, space-based facilities such as Hubble and Kepler take advantage of being above the Earth's atmosphere, obtaining data that can not be obtained from the ground.

As this is a small facility operated solely by HEAG, there are no restrictions on availability, and we can dedicate the system to whatever observing programs we wish. Key contact : Dr Padric McGee. The University of Adelaide operates a one-square-metre muon detector on the Adelaide Campus, which records the number of detected cosmic ray muons every 15 minutes.

A Muon Detector, with the light-tight box on the left and the computer and high-voltage power supply on the right. The detector was originally designed to provide data for undergraduate teaching purposes including student project work. There is a larger system 40 km north of Adelaide at Buckland Park.

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This is made up of eight one-square-metre scintillator muon detectors, with four detectors being in the form of a square above the other four detectors. Using the two vertically-displaced detector planes, and by taking coincidences between vertically-placed detectors, or diagonally spaced detectors, nine directional 'beams' can be made and we measure the muon rate for each of those.

In addition, we record the total count rates, the second-by-second total rate, and the rates of small cosmic ray showers which trigger more than two detectors 'in coincidence'.

TeV Gamma-ray Astrophysics

More about the Muon Detector. Despite its thoroughly urban location in the city, and the presence of considerable light pollution in its vicinity, it is capable of useful scientific data on appropriate targets. Previously, most of the research undertaken here has involved CCD photometry of exoplanet host stars, and of cataclysmic variable stars.

Ray Protheroe in June , spectroscopy has became the main field of teaching and research. This work involves taking part in international campaigns on the monitoring of the behaviour of particular spectral features in objects such as eta Carinae and some southern emission-line B stars. History of the Observatory. For enquiries regarding postgraduate study, please contact the relevant staff member relevant to the area of interest. Professor Bruce Dawson. Associate Professor Gavin Rowell. Associate Professor Gary Hill. HEAG former members. History of HEAG.

School of Physical Sciences. High-Energy Astrophysics Group. Pierre Auger Observatory image courtesy Steven Saffi. Research fields. Expand Cosmic-ray astronomy What are cosmic rays? How do we detect cosmic rays? What are gamma rays? How do we detect them? Gamma-rays can be observed via ground-based and space-based detectors. What we do at HEAG. What are neutrinos? How do we detect neutrinos? With difficulty.

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Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A)

What is radio astronomy? How do we observe radio sources? Kieda, R. Ong, C. Pryke, and P. Sommers, Astropart. Ong, Physics Reports , 93 Chantell et al. Borione et al. D55 , A , Wagner, D. Hinshaw, R. Ong, J.


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    A new unidentified very high energy gamma-ray source... (14 December 2004)

    D34 , Ong, L. Sulak, and R. Watts, Nucl. Torr, D. Torr, and R. Torr, R. Ong, and H. Hinteregger, Geophys. Talk 4. Talk 6. Talk 2. Talk 1.


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      Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics) Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics)
      Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics) Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics)
      Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics) Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics)
      Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics) Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics)
      Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics) Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics)
      Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics) Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics)
      Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics) Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics)
      Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics) Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics)
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