Cassiopeia A - First live remote observation of the neutral hydrogen emission line (21cm line) in Oxford Stargazing

5 February 2019

Cassiopeia A at Stargazing Oxford!

Last weekend we hosted Stargazing Oxford in the Department, our biggest annual public event. So many excting things happened and were there to see and learn from!

For the first time in Oxford Stargazing history we did a live remote observation of the neutral hydrogen emission line (21cm line) in the Department of Physics.
To achieve that, we used one of the two 1.4m antennas of the Roswitha Wetton Radio Telescope, which is located on the roof of the Denys Wilkinson Building, to observe Cassiopeia A (CasA). (Alumni who visited us last September had a chance to visit these!).

Cassiopeia A is a supernova remnant and a strong radio source, which exploded in 1667 and its cloud of dust and material expands even today.

The picture shows the stargazing volunteers, including Prof Roger Davies (5th from left to right) behind the telescope control setup.
With this setup, visitors started observations and could also see a live plot of the detected astronomical signals.

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The left screen was used to illustrate where in the sky the telescope points. The middle screen shows the telescope control and the received astronomical data.
The right screen shows the live web cam feed of the antennas.

For more information about this research and the way we use the Radio Telescopes, you could contact Dr Alexander Pollak.

If you'd like to see what Oxford Stargazing is all about check this video. Hope to see you next year!