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1st of November 2023
ATNF Colloquium
MeerKAT at 5
Fernando Camilo (SARAO)
Abstract: The MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa was inaugurated 5 years ago. In this talk I'll provide a broad overview of science results to date. Among other examples, I'll show: how an exquisitely sensitive continuum image is constraining the star formation history of the universe, putting it into tension with UV+IR-derived evolution; the discovery of OH megamasers at redshift > 0.5; how the study of neutral hydrogen down to column densities of ~5e17/cm^2 is enabling Local Group science outside the Local Group, and revealing how gas is shaped and removed from galaxies in cluster environments. Come see how MeerKAT combined with a pulsar timing backend developed in Australia is enabling unprecedented tomographic mapping of the Local Bubble and constraints on a stochastic background of gravitational waves. I'll also cover the discovery and study of numerous extragalactic and Galactic transients - including still mysterious sources with rotation periods up to tens of minutes - done in part jointly with the MWA and ASKAP.

The image above is a composite of galaxies and the MeerKAT array: most of the thousands of dots visible in this MeerKAT image covering one square degree of sky are distant and faint star forming galaxies. Study of this 'DEEP2' field is being used to constrain the star formation history of the universe. (Adapted from Tom Mauch et al. 2020.) Credit: SARAO; NRAO/AUI/NSF.

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