GALFACTS

Astronomy Image

GALFACTS

The G-ALFA Continuum Transit Survey is a 5-year project that will use the ALFA instrument on the Arecibo telescope to perform a sensitive (90 micro-Jy) mapping of the entire Arecibo continuum sky in all four Stokes parameters.

GALFACTS comprises high multi-frequency observations; the 300-MHz (1225-1525 MHz) bandwidth will be distributed over 1000-channels which will further help to reduce the effects of RFI (radio frequency interference) and is essential for deducing the frequency-dependent Faraday rotation effects for polarized emission from radio continuum sources.

GALFACTS will address a variety of scientific questions:

  • Polarimetric constraints on the large scale Galactic magnetic fields.
  • Magnetic fields of galactic phenomena - supernova remnants (SNRs), molecular clouds and HII regions.
  • 3-D Faraday tomography of the pervasive magneto-ionic interstellar medium.
  • High resolution imaging of galactic structure and sources - including Galactic loops and spurs, low surface-brightness SNRs, HII regions and the ISM. This will rely on multi-wavelength synergies to identify thermal and non-thermal components of the ISM.
  • Sensitive catalogue of point sources, which will include information on the polarization and variability of these astrophysical sources.
  • Accurate characterization of the Galactic synchrotron foreground. This is essential for studies of the Cosmic Microwave Background at higher frequencies.

Prof. Russ Taylor, the director of IDIA, is one of the PIs of GALFACTS. The team organization and collaboration on GALFACTS is being done using the CyberSKA portal. GALFACTS is a key driver of the requirements of the CyberSKA platform, and informs the development of both the collaborative aspects of the portal and the integration of scientific tools to deal with the vast amount of GALFACTS data.

 

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