Radio 101

My brain is a bit fried. As one would well expect after two days worth of conference talks and a morning, so far, of a radio astronomy data reduction workshop. All seems to be going pretty well so far though, and remarkably everything seems to be making rather good sense. This usually means one of two things: Either I understand what’s going on and all is good, or I really don’t and my brain’s on autopilot. I suspect it isn’t the latter, but I’m always wary.

Actually, the software used in radio astronomy, CASA, seems to be a lot nicer than IRAF, its optical counterpart. Lots of people use IRAF and, while it’s useful for its purpose, I’ve yet to meet anyone who genuinely enjoys using it. Somehow this gives me the impression that working with radio data might turn out to be rather more enjoyable. Either way, it’s nice to be able to use both.

In the meantime, all the news about ALMA seems to be very exciting. The Atacama Large Millimetre Array is set to be an impressive instrument once it’s completed. When I’m less of a wannabe in radio frequencies, hopefully I’ll even get to use it someday!

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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4 Responses to Radio 101

  1. invaderxan says:

    Hehe… Yeah, it was funny at the workshop. Quite a few references were made about how “Anyone familiar with AIPS will know that you used to have to do suchandsuch. Anyone else… just forget I said anything about that.” :P
    You broke it? lol
    (Actually, several people did that… including me, and one of the speakers)

  2. invaderxan says:

    The two most commonly grumbled about things in my department are IRAF and IDL! :P
    Actually, out of interest, have you ever used pyRAF? I was thinking of trying it out…

  3. Anonymous says:

    You’re lucky to be starting out with CASA… the most commonly uttered phrase by radio astronomy PhD students everywhere is “I hate AIPS!”. The first thing I did with CASA was break it!

  4. davidnm says:

    I think IRAF should be renamed EvilRAF, or possibly IWRATH. I’ve yet to have a good experience out of it!

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