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13th of February 2020
ATNF Colloquium
The SKA precursor telescope MeerKAT as a galaxy evolution explorer
Gyula Józsa (SKA Africa / Rhodes University)
Abstract: MeerKAT is a radio telescope situated in South Africa's Karoo desert. It has recently been built as an SKA demonstrator and precursor telescope and was inaugurated in August 2018. MeerKAT is a superb telescope to observe in particular the HI line, hence tracing the most abundant atom in its transitional neutral phase. Several design changes and (planned) upgrades make MeerKAT suitable for deep (HI-) observations but in particular also as a large-area survey instrument. It will hence play an important part in constraining theories of galaxy dynamics and evolution and serve to shed more light into the star formation cycle in galaxies both in deep case studies as well as in statistical efforts.

I will describe MeerKAT, discuss its status, and motivate immanent surveys by reporting on results of the most sensitive HI survey so far -- the HALOGAS survey with the Westerbork Radio Synthesis Telescope. I will then present early results of selected MeerKAT observations, including some details about processing and analysis, to finally give an outlook for selected upcoming MeerKAT surveys.

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