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15th of June 2022
ATNF Colloquium
MeerKATs, Lions, and work with CRAFT
Marcin Glowacki (Curtin University)
Abstract: In this talk, I will present work on a variety of projects. I will begin with the Looking At the Distant Universe with the MeerKAT Array (LADUMA) survey, among other projects I’ve been involved in with the MeerKAT telescope. Upcoming neutral hydrogen (HI) emission surveys such as LADUMA with SKA Pathfinder telescopes will greatly increase our understanding of galaxy evolution, especially as a function of redshift. I will highlight the detection of ‘Nkalakatha’, the first high-redshift OH (hydroxyl) megamaser found through the main emission lines, and the first scientific result of LADUMA.

Following this, I will showcase results of baryonic Tully-Fisher relation (BTFR) studies conducted with the cosmological hydrodynamic Simba galaxy simulations. Results from Simba have been compared to observational BTFR studies in the local Universe. By constructing mock HI cubes, we also make a prediction on whether LADUMA could detect a redshift evolution of the BTFR. Other Simba projects will also be highlighted, that will complement LADUMA and other SKA precursor science surveys. Lastly, I will highlight the Commensal Real-time ASKAP Fast Transients (CRAFT) survey, which I am now working on at Curtin University. CRAFT is currently developing the CRAFT Coherent (CRACO) system, which will greatly increase the efficiency of detecting and localising fast radio bursts to their host galaxies.

The image above shows the OH (hydroxyl) emission of Nkalakatha, a newly detected megamaser with the MeerKAT radio telescope. During the first night of observation for the Looking At the Distant Universe with the MeerKAT Array (LADUMA) survey, the above emission was seen, shown from a rebinned observation. The emission is from a megamaser, the result of a recent galaxy merger event. The gas the merged galaxies contain becomes extremely dense and can trigger concentrated beams of light to shoot out. This is the most distant megamaser of its kind ever detected, at about five billion light years from Earth, and was named ‘Nkalakatha’ [pronounced ng-kuh-la-kuh-tah]—an isiZulu word meaning “big boss”. This is the first science result for LADUMA, which will amass over 3000 hours of observation to study the hydrogen content of distant galaxies. (Image credit: Marcin Glowacki/LADUMA/CARTA.)

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