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Colloquium - PAFs and polarisation and radio galaxies, oh my!

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Speaker: Craig Anderson (CSIRO)
Location: Thursday the 18th of April at 15:30 in the auditorium

Radio galaxies were among the first celestial radio sources identified, and are among the brightest and best studied. However, with a slew of powerful new radio telescopes now coming online, we have a chance to see these objects with fresh eyes. What might we learn? I will introduce and discuss my recent work on the polarised emission from two famous radio galaxies --- Fornax A and Centaurus A --- and prospects for near-term and medium-term work on an expanded sample of similar objects. I will also discuss the related effort of commissioning the polarization capabilities of the new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope, including recent results, and challenges going forward.

This is an image of the polarised radio emission from the radio galaxy Fornax A, made with the new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. Lying at a distance of 60 million light years from Earth, Fornax A is one of the brightest, nearest, and best studied objects of its type. The radio emission visible in the image is coming from two bubbles of super-heated plasma, which have been inflated and ejected from the host galaxy by oppostitely-directed jets, which were formed long ago by the supermassive black hole residing in its center.