Introduction to Radio Astronomy and Interferometry

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Radio astronomy uses radio waves to study regions of space.

Single-dish radio telescopes produce blurry images.

Interferometry is a technique used to overcome the blurring and produce sharper radio images.

The spacing between the radio telescope dishes in an interferometer determines the size of the objects that can be resolved by the interferometer.

Using many dishes together in an interferometer array allows astronomers to form more complete images of objects.

This is how an aperture synthesis telescope such as the Australia Telescope Compact Array works.

By this technique, which also goes under the name Earth-rotation synthesis, observations of a stable radio source by a number of interferometer pairs are combined to form detailed radio images of objects.

VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) enables very small objects to be clearly resolved.

Go to Introduction to Radio Astronomy and Interferometry Summary

Last update by Michelle Storey. 14/2/99

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