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The LOfar COsmic-dawn Search (LOCOS): Chasing the lunar shadow

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Friday, January 17, 2014 - 12:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • CASA Conference Room C324

Speaker Name(s): 

Harish Vedantham

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysics Lunch Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

The LOCOS project aims to use the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) to measure the redshifted 21-cm signal from the epoch of cosmic dawn (40>z>15). Measuring the redshift evolution of the global (sky averaged) 21-cm signal from cosmic dawn is expected to cast light on the nature of the first stars and black-holes. A single dipole experiment can measure the global 21-cm signal, but will require unprecedented calibration accuracy. Multi-element radio interferometers are highly calibratable, but being spatial differencing instruments, are insensitive to a global signal.

However, by having the moon in their field-of-view, radio interferometers can measure the brightness contrast between the global signal and the moon. In this talk, I will demonstrate this quirk of radio interfeomtery using LOFAR data. Our results provide a proof-of-concept of this new and exciting observational technique for cosmic dawn science.