GLASS is a ATCA legacy survey project that has been allocated 3000 hours over six semesters. Our goal is to image the full 50 square degrees of the G23 GAMA field at 5.5 and 9.5 GHz with the ATCA to 10s microJy/beam depths, the deepest ever survey over such a large area. We expect to detect over 13,000 radio sources and combined with the excellent multi-wavelength (UV to infrared) and spectroscopic coverage from GAMA we will be able to study active galactic nuclei (AGN) and star forming galaxies in exquisite detail.
This will be the deepest wide survey at high radio frequencies until the SKA comes online. GLASS observations are now complete and data processing is underway.
The two main science areas of the GLASS survey are around a) AGN and radio galaxies, b) radio measures of star formation.
AGN and Radio Galaxies
Within the GAMA Legacy ATCA Southern Survey (GLASS) project there are several PhD and Masters projects possible in the science area of AGN and radio galaxies to answer questions such as:
i) Why don’t all compact (i.e. young) radio sources evolve into giant radio galaxies?
ii) What is the relative fraction of ‘quasar’ vs ‘radio’ mode AGN in the nearby and distant universe, what are their physical properties, and how do these affect or feedback into their environment?
iii) Is there a population of high redshift radio AGN and how what are their properties?
Radio emission can also trace the star formation rate of a galaxy, and has the advantage that it is not blocked by dust (unlike UV or optical light). Radio continuum emission (at 1.4 GHz) in normal galaxies is produced by electrons accelerated by supernova, and since supernova happen when stars die the radio continuum emission is thought to be related to star formation. However a more direct tracer of SF emission in the radio may come from HII (or star forming) regions within a galaxy. This type of emission is dominant at higher radio frequencies (~10 GHz).
This PhD project aims to calibrate the radio star formation rate (which is important for future work with SKA) and decompose the radio emission into that from supernova acceleration vs HII regions, thus potentially obtaining a more reliable measure of galaxy star formation rates.