Earth-sized radio telescopes: (astro)physics with the SKA, VLBI and the Event Horizon Telescope

Dr. Roger Deane from Rhodes University will present the NASSP colloquium with a talk entitled, "Earth-sized radio telescopes: (astro)physics with the SKA, VLBI and the Event Horizon Telescope"

The technique of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) enables radio antennas across the planet to be used as a single, Earth-sized telescope. While it requires additional overhead and post-processing, VLBI provides a dramatic 2-3 order of magnitude improvement in angular resolution when compared to current connected-element radio interferometers. Over the course of the next decade, sensitivity-enhanced VLBI arrays, which will include the Square Kilometre Array and the Event Horizon Telescope, are set make major contributions to astronomy and fundamental physics through this angular resolution advantage. I will describe a range of my VLBI-related science programmes, including observations of black hole shadows, binary supermassive black holes and MeerKAT-VLBI complements to the MeerKAT Large Survey Projects.  

Roger Deane is a Senior Research Fellow at Rhodes University and leads its VLBI group. He obtained his PhD at Oxford University, focusing on strong gravitational lensing which uses the space-time distortions of massive galaxies as a cosmic telescope. Following his PhD, he returned to South Africa, carrying out postdoctoral research at UCT and Rhodes University. His research interests include strong gravitational lensing, binary supermassive black hole systems, and shadow detection of the supermassive black hole at centre of our galaxy. In these pursuits, he uses the technique of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). He currently serves as chair of the MeerKAT-VLBI Working Group and is a member of the international SKA-VLBI Working Group.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - 16:15

Astronomy Seminar Room, 5th Floor RW James Building