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The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is a low-frequency (80 — 300 MHz) radio telescope operating in Western Australia and the only precursor telescope to the low-frequency part of the Square Kilometer Array, which will be the world’s largest radio telescope. One of the largest science programs for the MWA is the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky MWA (GLEAM) survey, which has surveyed the entire visible sky for two years since the MWA commenced operations. GLEAM has enabled studies of dying radio galaxies, supernova remnants, clusters of galaxies, and the Earth’s ionosphere. It also brought a colourful radio view of the sky to public attention; see e.g. this TED talk:  or this sky viewer.

The MWA has now been upgraded to double the resolution, and the new GLEAM-eXtended (GLEAM-X) survey has successfully observed half of the sky, with the final data to be obtained in late 2022. The increased resolution enables images 10x deeper to be created, potentially revealing millions of new radio sources over the next few years. Combining the GLEAM and GLEAM-X datasets will create the most sensitive wide area survey output from the MWA ever. The wide bandwidth of the MWA makes possible in-band spectrum measurements of many objects, which directly informs us of their astrophysics.

Aims of the project:

  • Process GLEAM-X data to generate widely useful images and catalogues;
  • Undertake a focused research project that utilizes the data. This could include (but is not limited to): studies of transient or variable radio sources, scintillation, the ionosphere, continuum or polarisation studies of objects such as radio galaxies, galaxy clusters, supernova remnants, and pulsars, or synthesis of wide-area measurements to investigate cosmological effects;
  • Publish the results in scientific papers and at conferences.

An internship opportunity may also be available with this project.