Archive | September 2008

A Deep 150 MHz GMRT Survey in Eridanus

My second paper has been published biggrin.gif. This one is looking at low frequency source counts with the GMRT. It is titled “A deep 150 MHz Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope survey in Eridanus”. If anyone fancies reading it, it can be found on [astroph]. It is to be published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. In short though, we investigate the nature of galaxies at low radio frequencies, something that is apparently quite lacking in the world of astronomy – basically due to natural poor resolution of radio telescopes at these long wavelengths. Here is the abstract of our work:

We present results of a 150 MHz survey of a field centered on Epsilon Eridani, undertaken with the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT). The survey covers an area with a diameter of 2 deg, has a spatial resolution of 30″ and a noise level of 3.1 mJy at the pointing centre. These observations provide a deeper and higher resolution view of the 150 MHz radio sky than the 7C survey (although the 7C survey covers a much larger area). A total of 113 sources were detected, most are point-like, but 20 are extended. We present an analysis of these sources, in conjunction with the NVSS (at 1.4 GHz) and VLSS (at 74 MHz). This process allowed us to identify 5 Ultra Steep Spectrum (USS) radio sources that are candidate high redshift radio galaxies (HzRGs). In addition, we have derived the dN/dS distribution for these observations and compare our results with other low frequency radio surveys.

FAS Convention next Sat!

Next Saturday is the 2008 Federation of Astronomical Societies convention. It is to take place the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge and promises to be an action packed fun-filled day. For more take a look at

Security in Ubuntu

I’m a Ubuntu user – yep that’s a type of Linux. I love it and I find it so much more natural than M$ Windows (and of the versions, though I do have time for XP as I have spent a lot of time using that – mostly games though). Anyway… lots of people are going over to using Linux and I keep urging people to try out Ubuntu as its quite easy to get the hang of and the usual questions about viruses and firewalls come up. I understand that this is natural you are used to using Windows… my initial reaction is don’t panic but if you are worried take a look around the web and install some tools. A great site full of useful info is [] – so go take a look and get your Ubuntu installation nice and secure.

A geeks way of travelling…

For me that means using the net to book hotels, flights, trains and getting maps off city council websites – but be cautious the one I got of Prague was missing the new tube stations… biggrin.gif – very useful since our hostel was next to one of the newly built ones. Anyway, for some travelling is a whole lot geekier… [Wired HOWTO].

Tumblr pages…

I’ve been trying out Tumblr as a means of bloging and I like it – I think I might attempt to maintain an astronomy blog over on their system for a while and see what happens… if you want to take a look at my fledgling new blog see:

University of Birmingham Space Day!

Forty two. That was the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything proposed by Deep Thought in Douglas Adams’ book the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But how much of the ultimate answer does the Universe actually contribute?
Whilst astronomers at the University of Birmingham are likely unable to find the answer to that question, at their upcoming event, Space Day, they hope to be able to answer many other more day-to-day questions, such as how does a telescope work? What can I look at in the sky tonight? How did NASA get their rovers on Mars safely?
This event, aimed at all ages of the general public, will feature talks by researchers from the School of Physics and Astronomy, including Dr William Chaplin on the “Music of the Sun” and Dr Somak Raychaudhury on “Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy – Black Holes, Cosmic Illusions and Dark Energy”, as well as interactive workshops which tackle telescope making, air rocket creation and launching, and even making Mars rovers out of little more than cardboard and sellotape! Other activities such as a tour of the night sky in a mobile planetarium, a tour of the department’s astronomical and space laboratory facilities, a chance to see how many cosmic rays pass through you every second and a raffle are planned for the day.
Space Day is currently planned to run from 10:00 am to 5:15 pm on Saturday 4th of October 2008. Entrance and all activities are free, but due to limits on numbers certain workshops will be on a first-come-first served basis.
We hope to see you there! More info at []