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The ultimate e-EVN milestone: 1 Gbps observations

Submitter: Zsolt Paragi
Description: The 100-m Effelsberg telescope, the most sensitive member of the European VLBI Network (EVN), was connected by dedicated high-speed fibre data link earlier this year. On 19 November there was a celebration of this event in Effelsberg. During the festivities, something even more important was going on. The Galactic microquasar SS433 entered an active phase at the end of October, which has been monitored by the e-EVN (see image made made on 6 November above). The third epoch observations of SS433, the most complex e-EVN experiment to date, took place on 19 November.

Besides the regular e-EVN stations, an additional telescope was connected from the MERLIN network in the United Kingdom. For a short time, the 300m Arecibo telescope (Puerto Rico) joined as well, significantly increasing the sensitivity of the array. Most importantly, three stations reached an operational data rate that seemed impossible even to the most optimistic radio astronomers a few years ago: Effelsberg (Germany), Onsala (Sweden) and Westerbork (Netherlands) sent one gigabit of data each second (full 1024 Mbps). Should you be interested in listening to the cosmic harmony broadcast from SS433 with your 1 GByte MP3 player, you could not record much more than about one second of e-EVN music on it (see the total network throughput graph below).
Copyright: EXPReS
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