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  • Briggs, F
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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2016, Vol.460(4), pp.4320-4347
    Description: We present first results from radio observations with the Murchison Widefield Array seeking to constrain the power spectrum of 21 cm brightness temperature fluctuations between the redshifts of 11.6 and 17.9 (113 and 75 MHz). 3 h of observations were...
    Keywords: Techniques: Interferometric ; Dark Ages ; Reionization ; First Stars ; Radio Lines: General ; X-Rays: Galaxies
    ISSN: 0035-8711
    ISSN: 1365-2966
    Source: NARCIS (National Academic Research and Collaborations Information System)
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  • 2
    In: 2012 ApJ 759 17
    Description: We introduce the Fast Holographic Deconvolution method for analyzing interferometric radio data. Our new method is an extension of A-projection/software-holography/forward modeling analysis techniques and shares their precision deconvolution and widefield polarimetry, while being significantly faster than current implementations that use full direction-dependent antenna gains. Using data from the MWA 32 antenna prototype, we demonstrate the effectiveness and precision of our new algorithm. Fast Holographic Deconvolution may be particularly important for upcoming 21 cm cosmology observations of the Epoch of Reionization and Dark Energy where foreground subtraction is intimately related to the precision of the data reduction. Comment: ApJ accepted
    Keywords: Astrophysics - Instrumentation And Methods For Astrophysics ; Astrophysics - Cosmology And Extragalactic Astrophysics
    ISSN: 0004637X
    E-ISSN: 15384357
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: The Astrophysical Journal, 2014, Vol.793(1), p.28 (13pp)
    Description: Detection of the epoch of reionization (EoR) in the redshifted 21 cm line is a challenging task. Here, we formulate the detection of the EoR signal using the drift scan strategy. This method potentially has better instrumental stability compared to the case where a single patch of sky is tracked. We demonstrate that the correlation time between measured visibilities could extend up to 1-2 hr for an interferometer array such as the Murchison Widefield Array, which has a wide primary beam. We estimate the EoR power based on a cross-correlation of visibilities over time and show that the drift scan strategy is capable of detecting the EoR signal with a signal to noise that is comparable/better compared to the tracking case. We also estimate the visibility correlation for a set of bright point sources and argue that the statistical inhomogeneity of bright point sources might allow their separation from the EoR signal.
    Keywords: Astrophysics - Instrumentation And Methods For Astrophysics ; Astrophysics - Cosmology And Nongalactic Astrophysics;
    ISSN: 0004-637X
    E-ISSN: 1538-4357
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  • 4
    Description: Low radio frequency solar observations using the Murchison Widefield Array have recently revealed the presence of numerous weak, short-lived and narrow-band emission features, even during moderately quiet solar conditions. These non-thermal features occur at rates of many thousands per hour in the 30.72 MHz observing bandwidth, and hence, necessarily require an automated approach for their detection and characterization. Here, we employ continuous wavelet transform using a mother Ricker wavelet for feature detection from the dynamic spectrum. We establish the efficacy of this approach and present the first statistically robust characterization of the properties of these features. In particular, we examine distributions of their peak flux densities, spectral spans, temporal spans and peak frequencies. We can reliably detect features weaker than 1 SFU, making them, to the best of our knowledge, the weakest bursts reported in literature. The distribution of their peak flux densities follows a power law with an index of -2.23 in the 12-155 SFU range, implying that they can provide an energetically significant contribution to coronal and chromospheric heating. These features typically last for 1-2 seconds and possess bandwidths of about 4-5 MHz. Their occurrence rate remains fairly flat in the 140-210 MHz frequency range. At the time resolution of the data, they appear as stationary bursts, exhibiting no perceptible frequency drift. These features also appear to ride on a broadband background continuum, hinting at the likelihood of them being weak type-I bursts. Comment: 15 pages, 14 figures, Accepted for publication in ApJ
    Keywords: Astrophysics - Solar And Stellar Astrophysics
    ISSN: 0004637X
    E-ISSN: 15384357
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 2015, Vol.807(2), p.L28 (5pp)
    Description: We confirm our recent prediction of the “pitchfork” foreground signature in power spectra of high-redshift 21 cm measurements where the interferometer is sensitive to large-scale structure on all baselines. This is due to the inherent response of a wide-field instrument and is characterized by enhanced power from foreground emission in Fourier modes adjacent to those considered to be the most sensitive to the cosmological H i signal. In our recent paper, many signatures from the simulation that predicted this feature were validated against Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) data, but this key pitchfork signature was close to the noise level. In this paper, we improve the data sensitivity through the coherent averaging of 12 independent snapshots with identical instrument settings and provide the first confirmation of the prediction with a signal-to-noise ratio . This wide-field effect can be mitigated by careful antenna designs that suppress sensitivity near the horizon. Simple models for antenna apertures that have been proposed for future instruments such as the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array and the Square Kilometre Array indicate they should suppress foreground leakage from the pitchfork by ∼40 dB relative to the MWA and significantly increase the likelihood of cosmological signal detection in these critical Fourier modes in the three-dimensional power spectrum.
    Keywords: Astrophysics - Cosmology And Nongalactic Astrophysics ; Astrophysics - Instrumentation And Methods For Astrophysics;
    ISSN: 2041-8205
    E-ISSN: 2041-8213
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  • 6
    In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2015, Vol. 447(3), pp.2468-2478
    Description: Recent observations with the Murchison Widefield Array at 185 MHz have serendipitously unveiled a heretofore unknown giant and relatively nearby ( z  = 0.0178) radio galaxy associated with NGC 1534. The diffuse emission presented here is the first indication that NGC 1534 is one of a rare class of objects (along with NGC 5128 and NGC 612) in which a galaxy with a prominent dust lane hosts radio emission on scales of ∼700 kpc. We present details of the radio emission along with a detailed comparison with other radio galaxies with discs. NGC 1534 is the lowest surface brightness radio galaxy known with an estimated scaled 1.4-GHz surface brightness of just 0.2 mJy arcmin −2 . The radio lobes have one of the steepest spectral indices yet observed: α = −2.1 ± 0.1, and the core to lobe luminosity ratio is 〈0.1 per cent. We estimate the space density of this low brightness (dying) phase of radio galaxy evolution as 7 × 10 −7  Mpc −3 and argue that normal AGN cannot spend more than 6 per cent of their lifetime in this phase if they all go through the same cycle.
    Keywords: Techniques: Interferometric ; Galaxies: Active ; Galaxies: General ; Galaxies: Individual:Ngc 1534 ; Radio Continuum: Galaxies
    ISSN: 0035-8711
    E-ISSN: 1365-2966
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 2014, Vol.31
    Description: We present the results of an approximately 6,100 square degree 104--196MHz radio sky survey performed with the Murchison Widefield Array during instrument commissioning between 2012 September and 2012 December: the Murchison Widefield Array Commissioning Survey (MWACS). The data were taken as meridian drift scans with two different 32-antenna sub-arrays that were available during the commissioning period. The survey covers approximately 20.5 h 〈 Right Ascension (RA) 〈 8.5 h, -58 deg 〈 Declination (Dec) 〈 -14 deg over three frequency bands centred on 119, 150 and 180 MHz, with image resolutions of 6--3 arcmin. The catalogue has 3-arcmin angular resolution and a typical noise level of 40 mJy/beam, with reduced sensitivity near the field boundaries and bright sources. We describe the data reduction strategy, based upon mosaiced snapshots, flux density calibration and source-finding method. We present a catalogue of flux density and spectral index measurements for 14,110 sources, extracted from the mosaic, 1,247 of which are sub-components of complexes of sources. Comment: 22 pages, 18 figures, accepted to PASA
    Keywords: Astrophysics - Instrumentation And Methods For Astrophysics;
    ISSN: 1323-3580
    E-ISSN: 1448-6083
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Quick submit: 2017-02-13T20:44:11-0500
    Description: We present first results from radio observations with the Murchison Widefield Array seeking to constrain the power spectrum of 21 cm brightness temperature fluctuations between the redshifts of 11.6 and 17.9 (113 and 75 MHz). Three hours of observations were conducted over two nights with significantly different levels of ionospheric activity. We use these data to assess the impact of systematic errors at low frequency, including the ionosphere and radio-frequency interference, on a power spectrum measurement. We find that after the 1-3 hours of integration presented here, our measurements at the Murchison Radio Observatory are not limited by RFI, even within the FM band, and that the ionosphere does not appear to affect the level of power in the modes that we expect to be sensitive to cosmology. Power spectrum detections, inconsistent with noise, due to fine spectral structure imprinted on the foregrounds by reflections in the signal-chain, occupy the spatial Fourier modes where we would otherwise be most sensitive to the cosmological signal. We are able to reduce this contamination using calibration solutions derived from autocorrelations so that we achieve an sensitivity of 104 mK on comoving scales k≲0.5hMpc−1. This represents the first upper limits on the 21 cm power spectrum fluctuations at redshifts 12≲z≲18 but is still limited by calibration systematics. While calibration improvements may allow us to further remove this contamination, our results emphasize that future experiments should consider carefully the existence of and their ability to calibrate out any spectral structure within the EoR window.
    Keywords: Dark Ages, Reionization, First Stars ; Techniques: Interferometric ; Radio Lines: General ; X-Rays: Galaxies
    ISSN: Ewall-Wice, A., Joshua S. Dillon, J. N. Hewitt, A. Loeb, A. Mesinger, A. R. Neben, A. R. Offringa, et al. 2016. “First Limits on the 21 Cm Power Spectrum During the Epoch of X-Ray Heating.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 460 (4) (May 19): 4320–4347. doi:10.1093/mnras/stw1022.
    ISSN: 0035-8711
    Source: Harvard University Library
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  • 9
    In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2016, Vol. 460(4), pp.4320-4347
    Description: We present first results from radio observations with the Murchison Widefield Array seeking to constrain the power spectrum of 21 cm brightness temperature fluctuations between the redshifts of 11.6 and 17.9 (113 and 75 MHz). 3 h of observations were conducted over two nights with significantly different levels of ionospheric activity. We use these data to assess the impact of systematic errors at low frequency, including the ionosphere and radio-frequency interference, on a power spectrum measurement. We find that after the 1–3 h of integration presented here, our measurements at the Murchison Radio Observatory are not limited by RFI, even within the FM band, and that the ionosphere does not appear to affect the level of power in the modes that we expect to be sensitive to cosmology. Power spectrum detections, inconsistent with noise, due to fine spectral structure imprinted on the foregrounds by reflections in the signal-chain, occupy the spatial Fourier modes where we would otherwise be most sensitive to the cosmological signal. We are able to reduce this contamination using calibration solutions derived from autocorrelations so that we achieve an sensitivity of 10 4  mK on comoving scales k ≲ 0.5  h  Mpc −1 . This represents the first upper limits on the 21 cm power spectrum fluctuations at redshifts 12 ≲ z ≲ 18 but is still limited by calibration systematics. While calibration improvements may allow us to further remove this contamination, our results emphasize that future experiments should consider carefully the existence of and their ability to calibrate out any spectral structure within the EoR window.
    Keywords: Techniques: Interferometric ; Dark Ages, Reionization, First Stars ; Radio Lines: General ; X - Rays: Galaxies
    ISSN: 0035-8711
    E-ISSN: 1365-2966
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: The Astrophysical Journal, 2016, Vol.833(2), p.213 (16pp)
    Description: The detection of redshifted 21 cm emission from the epoch of reionization (EoR) is a challenging task owing to strong foregrounds that dominate the signal. In this paper, we propose a general method, based on the delay spectrum approach, to extract H i power spectra that are applicable to tracking observations using an imaging radio interferometer ("Delay Spectrum with Imaging Arrays"). Our method is based on modeling the H i signal taking into account the impact of wide field effects such as the w -term, which are then used as appropriate weights in cross-correlating the measured visibilities. Our method is applicable to any radio interferometer that tracks a phase center and could be utilized for arrays such as the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT), Donald C. Backer Precision Array for Probing the Epoch of Reionization (PAPER), and HERA. In the literature the delay spectrum approach has been implemented for near-redundant baselines using drift scan observations. In this paper we explore the scheme for non-redundant tracking arrays. This is the first application of delay spectrum methodology to such data to extract the H i signal. We analyze 3 hr of MWA tracking data on the EoR1 field. We present both two-dimensional ( ) and one-dimensional (k) power spectra from the analysis. Our results are in agreement with the findings of other pipelines developed to analyze the MWA EoR data.
    Keywords: Astronomy & Astrophysics ; Physics;
    ISSN: 0004-637X
    E-ISSN: 1538-4357
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