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29th of November 2017
Mapping Gas and Dark Matter in Galaxies
by Bärbel Koribalski (CASS)
One of the ATCA science drivers, identified by the user community, is the study of "Galaxy Formation and Evolution" in strong partnership with the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP). Three key areas are:
  • high-resolution mapping of the gas and dark matter in galaxies
  • characterising black holes, quasars and radio galaxies
  • low-surface brightness HI and CO mapping of nearby and distant galaxies, respectively.
The very short baselines between antennas, achieved by locating the 22-m dishes of the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) very close to each other, allow the mapping of very low-surface brightness atomic and molecular hydrogen via the HI and CO spectral lines. Longer baselines filter out the diffuse emission and often provide an incomplete picture. The HI 21-cm line is used to map gas in relatively nearby galaxies while red-shifted CO lines can be used to map the gas in much more distant galaxies. Four of the six ATCA dishes are shown in the photo above. - For more information see the ATCA Future Science Plan on the ATUC pages.

The picture above is from Alex Cherney's (terrastro.com) ATCA video, available on youtube.

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