20 May 2019
The Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences, and Technology (SAASST) reports the capturing of a unique image of the Orion Nebula (M42) using the Academy's newly installed Radio Astronomy Laboratory 5-meter Radio Telescope. The image was captured by the radio telescope on Tuesday, May 14h, 2019 at 1.4 GHz, and is the first time a radio telescope of this size captures such an image with a resolution of about 3°. SAASST is planning to add two more 5-m dishes to build a 40-m radio interferometer that will have a resolution of about 0.36°.
The radio interferometer will be made up of three SPIDER 500A telescopes to simulate a radio telescope with a size equivalent to a 40-m dish working at 1.4 GHz. The system has the shape of a rectangular scalene triangle, with distances (sides of scalene triangle) of 30, 40 and 50 meters. This array will have a collecting area equal to an antenna of 8.7 meters in diameter. This aids in the study of the large hydrogen structures distribution that exists between superclusters of galaxies. This study is vital to understanding the expansion of the universe.
The Sharjah Academy Astronomy, Space Sciences, and Technology seeks to study the Universe and its components by monitoring meteorites and other space objects using optical and radio observations, as well as through analyzing data on space weather and the ionosphere, building small CubeSats, and studying Mars and its atmosphere. This is to establish an expanding astronomy, space sciences, and technology research and academic programs in collaboration with various local and international institutions and agencies to enhance the Academy's status as a research and academic research pioneer in this field as well as serving the local and international community.