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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