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Nick Tothill (UNSW)

Mapping Southern Molecular Clouds: From Antarctica to Chile, via NSW ... and back - Nick Tothill Colloquium

The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium
15:30-16:30 Wed 10 Feb 2010

ATNF Marsfield Lecture Theatre


Understanding the structure and evolution of molecular clouds is
central to our understanding of the ecology of baryonic matter in galaxies. Molecular cloud structure is traced by mapping the clouds in submillimetre- and millimetre-waves; cloud formation and destruction may be traced by Terahertz fine-structure lines. I will outline efforts to map the Southern Sky in these tracers with past, present and future
telescopes: AST/RO, a submillimetre-wave telescope at the South Pole,
mapped molecular clouds in submillimeter-wave transitions over a 10-
year deployment. Currently, the refurbished NANTEN2 submillimeter
telescope in Chile is ramping up operations. I will show the results
of preliminary tests of the new fast-mapping mode on Mopra. which has
greatly increased the possible mapping speed at millimetre wavelengths. The data from these telescopes will be vital to our interpretation of THz maps from new instruments: I will present the results from preHEAT, which show that ground-based THz galactic astronomy is possible from Antarctica, and outline the next generation of Antarctic telescopes designed for this purpose.

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