Cavendish Astrophysics Group

Cavendish Astrophysics Group

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The Cavendish Astrophysics Group (formerly the Radio Astronomy Group) is based at the Cavendish Laboratory
Cavendish Laboratory
The Cavendish Laboratory is the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge, and is part of the university's School of Physical Sciences. It was opened in 1874 as a teaching laboratory....

 at the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

. The group operates all of the telescopes at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory
Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory
Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory is home to a number of large aperture synthesis radio telescopes, including the One-Mile Telescope, 5-km Ryle Telescope, and the Arcminute Microkelvin Imager...

 except for the 32m MERLIN
MERLIN
The Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network is an interferometer array of radio telescopes spread across England. The array is run from Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire by the University of Manchester on behalf of STFC as a National Facility.The array consists of up to seven radio...

 telescope, which is operated by Jodrell Bank
Jodrell Bank
The Jodrell Bank Observatory is a British observatory that hosts a number of radio telescopes, and is part of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester...

.

The group is the second largest of three astronomy departments in the University of Cambridge
Astronomy departments in the University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge has three large astronomy departments as follows:* The Institute of Astronomy, concentrating on theoretical astronomy and optical, infrared and x-ray observations...

.

Instruments under development by the group

  • The Atacama Large Millimeter Array
    ALMA
    ALMA can refer to* ALMA Award, a distinction awarded to Latino performers who promote positive portrayals of Latinos in the entertainment field.* ALMA Magazine, a Spanish-language lifestyle magazine....

     (ALMA) - several modules of this international project
  • The Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer (MRO Interferometer)
  • The SKA
    Square Kilometre Array
    The Square Kilometre Array is a radio telescope in development which will have a total collecting area of approximately one square kilometre. It will operate over a wide range of frequencies and its size will make it 50 times more sensitive than any other radio instrument...


Instruments in service

  • The Arcminute Microkelvin Imager
    Arcminute Microkelvin Imager
    The Arcminute Microkelvin Imager consists of a pair of interferometric radio telescopes - the Small and Large Arrays - located at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory near Cambridge. AMI was designed, built and is operated by the Cavendish Astrophysics Group...

     (AMI)
  • A Heterodyne Array Receiver for B-band (HARP-B) at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope
    James Clerk Maxwell Telescope
    The James Clerk Maxwell Telescope is a submillimetre-wavelength telescope at Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii. Its primary mirror is 15 metres across: it is the largest astronomical telescope that operates in submillimetre wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum...

  • The Planck Surveyor
    Planck Surveyor
    Planck is a space observatory of the European Space Agency and designed to observe the anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background over the entire sky, at a high sensitivity and angular resolution...


Previous instruments

  • The CLOVER telescope
  • The Very Small Array
    Very Small Array
    The Very Small Array is a 14-element interferometric radio telescope operating between 26 and 36 GHz that is used to study the cosmic microwave background radiation. It is a collaboration between the University of Cambridge, University of Manchester and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias...

  • The 5km Ryle Telescope
    Ryle Telescope
    The Ryle Telescope was a linear east-west radio telescope array at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory. In 2004 three of the telescopes were moved to create a compact two-dimensional array of telescopes at the east end of the interferometer. The remaining five antennas were switched off on 19...

  • The Cambridge Optical Aperture Synthesis Telescope (COAST)
    Cambridge Optical Aperture Synthesis Telescope
    COAST, the Cambridge Optical Aperture Synthesis Telescope, is a multi-element optical astronomical interferometer with baselines of up to 100 metres, which uses aperture synthesis to observe stars with angular resolution as high as one thousandth of one arcsecond COAST, the Cambridge Optical...

  • The Cosmic Anisotropy Telescope
    Cosmic Anisotropy Telescope
    The Cosmic Anisotropy Telescope CAT was a three-element interferometer for cosmic microwave background radiation observations at 13 to 17 GHz, based at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory. In 1995, it was the first instrument to measure small-scale structure in the cosmic microwave background...

  • The Cambridge Low Frequency Synthesis Telescope
    Cambridge Low Frequency Synthesis Telescope
    The Cambridge Low-Frequency Synthesis Telescope is an east-west aperture synthesis radio telescope currently operating at 151 MHz. It consists of 60 tracking yagis on a 4.6 km baseline, giving 776 simultaneous baselines. These provide a resolution of 70×70 cosec arcsec2, with a sensitivity of...

  • The Half-Mile Telescope
    Half-Mile Telescope
    The Half-Mile Telescope was constructed in 1968 at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory with two more aerials being added in 1972, using donated dishes . Two of the dishes are fixed, while two are moveable and share the One-Mile's rail track; to obtain information from the maximum number of...

  • The One-Mile Telescope
    One-Mile Telescope
    The One-Mile Telescope at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory is an array of radio telescopes designed to perform aperture synthesis interferometry.- History :The One Mile Telescope was completed by the Radio Astronomy Group of Cambridge...

  • The Interplanetary Scintillation Array
    Interplanetary Scintillation Array
    The Interplanetary Scintillation Array was built at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory in 1967 and originally covered four acres . It was extended in 1978 to nine, and re-furbished in 1989. It operates at 81.5 MHz , and is made up of 4096 dipoles in a phased array. 14 beams can map the...

     which discovered the first pulsar
    Pulsar
    A pulsar is a highly magnetized, rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation. The radiation can only be observed when the beam of emission is pointing towards the Earth. This is called the lighthouse effect and gives rise to the pulsed nature that gives pulsars their name...

  • The 4C Array
    4C Array
    The 4C Array is a cylindrical paraboloid radio telescope at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory. It is similar in design to the Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope. It is 450 m long, 20 m wide, with a second, moveable element...

     which made the 4C
    Fourth Cambridge Survey
    The Fourth Cambridge Survey is an astronomical catalogue of celestial radio sources as measured at 178 MHz using the 4C Array. It was published in two parts, in 1965 and 1967 , by the Radio Astronomy Group of the University of Cambridge...

     catalogue
  • The Cambridge Interferometer
    Cambridge Interferometer
    The Cambridge Interferometer was a radio telescope interferometer built by Martin Ryle and Antony Hewish in the early 1950s to the west of Cambridge . The interferometer consisted of an array of 4 fixed elements to survey the sky...

  • The Long Michelson Interferometer
    Long Michelson Interferometer
    The Long Michelson Interferometer was a radio telescope interferometer built by Martin Ryle and co-workers in the late 1940s beside the rifle range to the west of Cambridge, England. The interferometer consisted of 2 fixed elements 440m apart to survey the sky using Earth rotation. It produced the ...

  • Various aperture masking
    Aperture masking interferometry
    Aperture Masking Interferometry is a form of speckle interferometry, allowing diffraction limited imaging from ground-based telescopes. This technique allows ground based telescopes to reach the maximum possible resolution, allowing ground-based telescopes with large diameters to produce far...

     instruments for optical aperture synthesis
    Aperture synthesis
    Aperture synthesis or synthesis imaging is a type of interferometry that mixes signals from a collection of telescopes to produce images having the same angular resolution as an instrument the size of the entire collection...


Catalogues published by the group

  • Preliminary survey of the radio stars in the Northern Hemisphere (sometimes called the 1C
    First Cambridge Catalogue of Radio Sources
    The First Cambridge Catalogue of Radio Sources refers to the catalogue listed in the article Ryle M, Smith F G & Elsmore B MNRAS vol 110 pp508-523 "A Preliminary Survey of Radio Stars in the Northern Hemisphere"....

     catalogue) at 81.5-MHz (unreliable at low flux levels)
  • 2C catalogue 81.5-MHz (unreliable at low flux levels)
  • 3C
    Third Cambridge Catalogue of Radio Sources
    The Third Cambridge Catalogue of Radio Sources is an astronomical catalogue of celestial radio sources detected originally at 159 MHz, and subsequently at 178 MHz. It was published in 1959 by members of the Radio Astronomy Group of the University of Cambridge...

     catalogue 159 MHz
  • 4C catalogue 178 MHz
  • 5C
    Fifth Cambridge Survey of Radio Sources
    The 5C Survey of Radio Sources is an astronomical catalogue of celestial radio sources as measured at 408 MHz and 1407 MHz. It was published in a number of parts between 1975 and 1995 by the Radio Astronomy Group of the University of Cambridge...

     catalogue 408 MHz and 1407 MHz
  • 6C catalogue 151 MHz
  • 7C catalogue 151 MHz
  • 8C
    Eighth Cambridge Survey
    The 8C Survey or Rees 38 MHz survey is an astronomical catalogue of celestial radio sources as measured at 38 MHz. It was published in 1990 by the Radio Astronomy Group of the University of Cambridge. Sources are labelled 8C HHMM+DDd where HHMM is the Right Ascension in hours and...

     catalogue 38 MHz
  • 9C catalogue 15 GHz
  • 10C catalogue 14-18 GHz
  • Cambridge Interplanetary Scintillation survey

Famous Group Members

  • Sir Martin Ryle
    Martin Ryle
    Sir Martin Ryle was an English radio astronomer who developed revolutionary radio telescope systems and used them for accurate location and imaging of weak radio sources...

    , 1918-1984, Nobel Prize for Physics, founder of the group, former British Astronomer Royal
    Astronomer Royal
    Astronomer Royal is a senior post in the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. There are two officers, the senior being the Astronomer Royal dating from 22 June 1675; the second is the Astronomer Royal for Scotland dating from 1834....

  • Tony Hewish
    Antony Hewish
    Antony Hewish FRS is a British radio astronomer who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1974 for his work on the development of radio aperture synthesis and its role in the discovery of pulsars...

    , Nobel Prize for Physics, designed the telescope which discovered the first pulsars
  • Malcolm Longair
    Malcolm Longair
    -External links:...

     Jacksonian Professor of Natural Philosophy, former head of the Cavendish Laboratory
    Cavendish Laboratory
    The Cavendish Laboratory is the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge, and is part of the university's School of Physical Sciences. It was opened in 1874 as a teaching laboratory....

  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell
    Jocelyn Bell Burnell
    Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell, DBE, FRS, FRAS , is a British astrophysicist. As a postgraduate student she discovered the first radio pulsars with her thesis supervisor Antony Hewish. She was president of the Institute of Physics from October 2008 until October 2010, and was interim president...

    , detected the first signal from a pulsar
  • John E. Baldwin
    John E. Baldwin
    John Evan Baldwin FRS has worked at the Cavendish Astrophysics Group since 1954. He played a pivotal role in the development of interferometry in Radio Astronomy, and later astronomical optical interferometry and lucky imaging...

  • Richard E. Hills
  • F. Graham Smith - early co-worker with Ryle, later Astronomer Royal
  • David Saint-Jacques
    David Saint-Jacques
    David Saint-Jacques is a Canadian astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency . He was selected to join the CSA in the 2009 CSA selection along with Jeremy Hansen....

    Canadian astronaut

External links