Another NRAO TV Appearance!

NRAO telescopes will be featured on National Geographic’s “Known Universe” from 8-11PM EST/PST. There’s more footage from the VLA and appearances by Rick Perley and Jim Braatz from the NRAO!

I met Rick when I was a summer student in Socorro a few years back, and he’s really knowledgeable and super-cool. He gave us our big “introduction to radio interferometry” talks at the beginning of the summer, so I learned a lot from him. Jim Braatz is one of my collaborators, and he guided me through my first research project at UVa! He does great work with the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and searches for water megamasers, which are like “radio lasers” that give off spectral line emission using water molecules. These are often excited by the radiation from the active nucleus of a galaxy. Precise measurements of the locations and motions of these masers can give really accurate distanes to galaxies, which can then in turn be used to determine the nature of dark energy. Weird, huh? I’ll have to flesh that one out in a later blog post…

Mwah ha ha… I love teasers…

3 comments for “Another NRAO TV Appearance!

  1. eagle1879
    February 14, 2009 at 03:57

    Is that NGC4258 like galaxies? Through water maser? It’s interesting~ And the accuracy is amazing!

  2. NiteSkyGirl
    February 14, 2009 at 04:00

    That will be great to watch, I just bought the season 1 & 2 ' the universe ' dvd's of the tv show. WOW SPACE IS SO HUGE!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Nicole
    February 17, 2009 at 14:33

    eagle, yup, just like NGC4285! Only to test for dark energy, we need to find similar galaxies that are a bit farther away than that, making the challenge more difficult.

    NiteSkyGirl, I love that show. I’m guilty of using YouTube clips of it to explain something to students!

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