Computing the Universe
Date TBC - this talk was rescheduled due to Covid-19 lockdown in WA.
Dr Paul Hancock will explain how radio telescopes collect information invisible to the human eye using techniques very different from optical astronomy. Optical telescopes can rely on physical lenses to collect and focus light and create images. Sadly there is no physical equivalent of a radio lens, and so the focusing and imaging of the radio light must be done virtually by a computer.
The new generation of radio telescopes are made with hundreds to hundreds of thousands of sensors, each collecting streams of radio waves. Modern radio telescopes thus require an enormous amount of computing resources just to make images. Radio astronomy is thus a very computational endeavour requiring a niche combination of astrophysics and computing skills to execute most projects.
This talk will cover some of the basic ideas of radio astronomy, discuss the current hot science topics, and show how Australian researchers are making the most of supercomputing facilities to support the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) and Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescopes, as well as how this all feeds into the construction of the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope. The photograph By Natasha Hurley-Walker is of the MWA prototype.
How to join in this live talk? Members will be sent a Zoom Link.
Not a Member? Email: 24 hours prior with your name and a contact phone number.