This week may have seen the announcement of the largest ever telescope to be built. NANOGrav, is a telescope the size of a part of the Milky Way. By correlating ~15 years of interference patterns from gravitational waves across 68 pulsars spread throughout the galaxy, scientists have been able to create a detector that can identify the hum of a multitude of gravitational waves across the universe.
Effectively, think of a crescendo of sound waves that you might hear in a large concert hall filled with a huge number of instruments each playing incredibly quietly. They would interact into a hum as all these sounds overlap and interfere with each other. In this situation, the hum of the gravitational waves stretch and distort space and effect our measurements of 68 paired pulsars. What the scientists have done is determine a way to understand these pulsar measurements to detect this multitude of gravitational waves.
The research started in 2008, and after collecting 12 years of data, the scientists realised that they could detect something, but they were not really sure what. Now with an additional three years of data they are now prepared to announce that they can detect gravitational waves with extremely long periods.
There are a number of sources to read up about it but the most interesting I found was at Scientists use Exotic Stars to Tune into Hum from Cosmic Symphony | NANOGrav where you can see YouTube clips, graphics and links to other related papers.
This month’s General Meeting is a Bring Your Own Scope night.
Yep that's right. Every so often we throw open the doors of the society and invite members of society and the public to come along and get some free support to get their scopes going. If you have a scope that has been sitting at home gathering dust then now is your chance. Even if you don't have a scope and are just wondering a little bit about astronomy then this night is designed just for you. Come along and talk to experienced amateur astronomers about the hobby and what it is and how you too can see the objects in space!
Australian Sky and Telescope goes digital
I guess it is called progress as the Australian Sky and Telescope magazine is now only available in digital format. We will shortly be putting up revised pricing which still benefits members with hefty discounts. Make sure you check it out.
New NSAS clothing
NSAS has now a range of Polo Shirts, T-Shirts and Beanies which can be acquired online, via the recently announced Pop-up shop from Mary at Merchandise@nsas.org.au or at our next General Meeting night on Tuesday 18th July. Check out the email sent to you on the 30th June.
Observing Objects for June: (reproduced from our website)