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"Marcello Ceccarelli" Medicina radio telescopes Visitor Center now has a new radio telescope, the SPIDER 300A! Installed close to the Northern Cross and the 32 meter single dish antenna professional radio telescopes, SPIDER 300A is used by researchers and students as an educational radio telescope and to let visitors discover radio astronomy and the tools they use to investigate the radio universe. SPIDER 300A is remotely controlled from the Visitor Center, where we installed the H142-One receiver for wave capture at a frequency of 1420 MHz and a computer with the RadioUniversePRO control software.
Taurus A is the radio source in Taurus constellation that corresponds to the Crab Nebula (M1), the supernova remnant exploded on July 4, 1054 and noted by Chinese and Arabian astronomers of the time. Since then, the gas cloud has expanded and today is over 6 light years large. In this article we see how the SPIDER radio telescope "discovered" it by capturing the radio waves emitted by Taurus A and converting them into a radio map, a real photograph in radio waves of this nebula. In fact it is believed that Taurus A emits radio waves for synchrotron radiation caused by electrons in fast spiral motions around magnetic field lines generated by the pulsar inside it. Thanks to the large antenna and the 1420 MHz H142-One receiver, the SPIDER radio telescope was able to easily record the weak signal and, thanks to the precise mount and pointing system, it generated a radio map with the same technique used by professional radio telescopes.
Cassiopeia A is a very important supernova remnant for radio astronomy since it's the brightest extrasolar radio source in the sky when studying at frequencies above 1 GHz. This feature makes it a conquest within the reach of radio telescopes equipped with not huge antennas, but it is still a relatively weak radio source. In fact, having a flux of around 2400 Jansky at a frequency of 1,42 GHz, it's a lot weaker than the Sun that is around 40000 Jansky! In this article we will see how to use SPIDER radio telescope and its RadioUniversePRO software to record the signal from Cassiopea A by aligning the antenna, removing the artificial signals and recording transists, spectra and radio maps.