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16th of June 2022
The MeerKAT megamaser Nkalakatha
In yesterday's colloquium, Marcin Glowacki described the LADUMA (Looking At the Distant Universe with the MeerKAT Array) survey and highlighted the detection of ‘Nkalakatha’, the first high-redshift OH (hydroxyl) megamaser found through the main emission lines, and the first scientific result of LADUMA. Yesterday's ADAP showed the "channel maps" of the source detection: today's gif animation steps through the velocity ranges in turn with the detection showing up clearly. During the first night of observation for LADUMA survey, the above emission was seen. The emission is from a megamaser, the result of a recent galaxy merger event. 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”. LADUMA 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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