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Parkes observations for project P456 semester 2015OCTS
The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) project has three primary goals: (a) detection of gravitational waves from astronomical sources, (b) establishment of a pulsar timescale, and (c) improvement of our understanding of Solar-system dynamics. The PPTA is the oldest of three international pulsar timing groups. We have the smallest telescope and the ... moresmallest group, but the best measurements and the best results. Our bound on the strength of the incoherent gravitational wave background is the only bound which significantly constrains theoretical models. We have maintained our leading position because: we have the southern sky; we have a small but well-focussed group; we have the best-calibrated receivers; and we have been able to observe with an almost regular cadence of 15 to 20 days at three different wavelengths. With this proposal we aim to maintain our pre-eminent position in the field.
Unlike most observing proposals, this is a continuing proposal for which the observations will continue to improve bounds on gravitational waves until they are finally detected. Continued Parkes observations will remain valuable until the first stage of the SKA is able to offer the same sensitivity as Parkes and the same observing time. Even after the gravitational wave background is detected we will want to continue observations in support of the nascent field of gravitational wave astronomy! less
Astronomical and Space Sciences not elsewhere classified
01 Oct 2015
31 Mar 2016
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence
Hobbs, George; Manchester, Dick; Sarkissian, John; Bailes, Matthew; Bhat, Ramesh; Keith, Michael; Coles, William; van Straten, Willem; Ravi, Vikram; Oslowski, Stefan; Kerr, Matthew; Shannon, Ryan; Wang, Jingbo; Levin, Yuri; Wen, Linqing; Zhu, Xingjiang; Dai, Shi; Burke, Sarah; Reardon, Daniel John (2016): Parkes observations for project P456 semester 2015OCTS. v2. CSIRO. Data Collection.
All Rights (including copyright) CSIRO 2016.
The metadata and files (if any) are available to the public.
Australia Telescope National Facility
P456 - A millisecond pulsar timing array
Gravitational waves are a prediction of Einstein's general theory of relativity. Despite many searches over several decades and much current effort, there has never been a direct detection of these waves. Such a detection would open up a window into presently unobservable phenomena such as orbiting black holes in the cores of distant galaxies. Puls... morears are such precise clocks that the effect of a weak gravitational wave from such sources passing over the Earth may be detectable. The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array project aims to make precise timing measurements on 20 millisecond pulsars with observations every two weeks for five years. Modelling suggests that with the improved instrumentation currently being developed and this dataspan we will have enough sensitivity to detect gravitational waves. The data will also allow us to establish a pulsar timescale which should be more precise than the best terrestrial timescales based on atomic clocks. less
Willem van Straten
Daniel John Reardon