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Submitter: Ian Heywood
Description: "MeerKAT Search for Molecules in the Epoch of Reionization" (MESMER) is an approved Large Survey project for the South African SKA pathfinder instrument. The primary goal is the detection of molecular gas in several hundred galaxies in the early Universe by targeting the J=1-0 line of the 12CO molecule with the MeerKAT high-frequency band. This line has a rest-frame frequency of 115.27 GHz, which drops down into the 10.5 - 14.5 GHz range at redshifts of approximately 7 - 10. The large field-of-view, broad bandwidth and high sensitivity of MeerKAT will provide unprecedented survey speed for such work.

The image above shows some of the results of an on-going simulation programme in support of this proposal. The predicted CO line properties from the SKA Simulated Skies are used to generate model spectral line cubes which are fed through an interferometric simulation and imaging pipeline. The ASTRON-developed MeqTrees package is a crucial link in this software chain as it is used to invert the sky model and generate appropriately-corrupted visibilities. These are then imaged with the lwimager resulting in spectral line cubes such as the one shown above.

A single channel, corrected for primary beam attenuation and clipped at the 30% level is shown on the right, and the frames from three solid detections are shown in the three rows on the left.

Further information can be found in this article.
Copyright: Ian Heywood
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