The KAREN network will play a key role in the inaugural Australia-New Zealand virtual e-telescope event, which takes place tonight.
Researchers from Auckland University of Technology, Australia’s CSIRO and two Australian universities will link together to observe a remote quasar star.
The quasar, PKS 0208--512, is known as a very strong source of gamma-ray radiation, says Professor Sergei Gulyaev, director of AUT’s Institute for Radio Astronomy and Space research.
In all, six telescopes will be linked together in order for data on the quasar to be gathered simultaneously.
AUT will play a pivotal part in relaying the data, with the university’s Warkworth Observatory being the base for the remote operation of the telescopes.
The KAREN (Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network) will also play a vital role, as the conduit for streaming data from the telescopes to a processing centre in Australia.
The Australian AARNet fast science network will also be used for data streaming, and the results will be displayed on a big screen at the Warkworth Observatory.
According to a media release from AUT, “The aim of this initial trial is to ensure that the data from all telescopes is correlated successfully.”
Gulyaev says in the release: “If we are successful in this demonstration, the next step will be to actually synthesise an image of the object we are observing in real-time.”