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Parkes observations for project P934 semester 2016OCTS_BPSR_03
On the smallest scales, the warm interstellar medium contains surprisingly complex structure, including extremely overdense filaments and blobs of plasma that remain intact for months, despite physical processes that should cause them to disperse on short (week) time scales. It is possible that magnetization plays a role in confining this plasma.... more On these AU length scales the plasma is best probed by observing the scintillations of compact background radio sources such as pulsars and quasars. Recent observations show that overdensities are confined to narrow regions along lines of sight. Over the last decade, improvements in the analysis of scintillation have enabled better characterization of these structures. These studies however have focused on the ISM in the solar-system neighbourhood and the Galactic plane. Here we propose to observe pulsars at high galactic latitudes to extend the sample lines of sight. We will determine if the scattering regions are confined to the Galactic plane or persist into the halo of the galaxy. We will also search for (or place limits on) magnetic field variations within these scattering regions and discrete structures. Our observations will also provide important constraints on the scintillation of fast radio bursts, extragalactic sources which may be magnified by the similar structures to those studied here. less
Astronomical and Space Sciences not elsewhere classified
01 Oct 2016
31 Mar 2017
interstellar medium in and around the Milky Way
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence
Shannon, Ryan; Hobbs, G; Coles, William; Ravi, Vikram; Kerr, Matthew; Reardon, Daniel John (2017): Parkes observations for project P934 semester 2016OCTS_BPSR_03. v1. CSIRO. Data Collection.
All Rights (including copyright) CSIRO 2017.
The metadata and files (if any) are available to the public.
Australia Telescope National Facility
P934 - The structure and magnetization of the high-latitude interstellar medium
Our Galaxy, the Milky Way, is filled with very sparse plasma: in the size of space of a carton of milk, there would only be a few electrons and protons! This plasma contains surprising dense clumps (the size of the Earth’s orbit around the sun). While these clumps should be shredded to bits very quickly, we see that they last a long time. On... moree reason the clumps may stay together is that magnetic fields tie it all together. Our Galaxy also contain a special type of star, called a pulsar, that emit flashes of radio waves. These flashes can be used to strobe the plasma, and let us examine the clumps. We are using the Parkes telescope (the best telescope for pulsars in the world) to use pulsars to study the structure of clumps, and try, for the first time, to measure how magnetic the clumps are. less
Daniel John Reardon
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