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The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium
15:30-16:30 Wed 29 Mar 2006

ATNF Marsfield Lecture Theatre

Dr Karl Menten

(Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy, Bonn)

Radio, millimeter, and submillimeter astronomy - exciting new opportunities for the Southern hemisphere - Dr Karl Menten Colloquium

MOPRA and ATCA observations will play an important role before and during the ALMA era: Large-scale MOPRA mapping with receiver arrays will outline the general extent of target regions on scales not easily accessible to ALMA and provide zero-spacing information for interferometric imaging. Furthermore, they will help to identify the most interesting regions into which ALMA can "zoom in". The longer wavelength complementarity between ALMA and ATCA is self-evident.

As to observations of continuum emission from interstellar dust,
bolometer array formats are currently increasing by one to two orders of magnitude, making, e.g., unbiased surveys of the Galactic plane possible with very interesting detection limits.

Following the highly successful Parkes 21 cm array shorter radio (K- and Q-band) and millimeter wavelength molecular line astronomy will be revolutionized by MMIC focal plane arrays that will have ~100 or (many) more elements and will soon operate at 3 mm and at 2 mm in the foreseeable future. Equipped with next generation spectrometers, these arrays will allow very efficient large-scale mapping of many spectral lines simultaneously. Existing interferometer arrays equipped with such arrays will stay highly competitive in the ALMA era.

SIS receiver arrays will also be available in the near future, even at short submillimeter wavelengths; e.g. 350 microns and (soon) 200 microns. Such arrays on the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment 12 m telescope (APEX) will have beam sizes smaller than 10 arcseconds, comparable to ATCA's synthesized beam in the cm range.

I shall present scientific cases demonstrating that observations at all the different wavelengths are highly complementary and needed for understanding the science. In particular, I shall discuss instrumentation and science projects planned for APEX and show first APEX results.

More information


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