Astrophiz 56: Prof Matthew Bailes ~ Magnetars, Supercomputers & Gravitational Waves

Artist’s impression of the magnetar in the star cluster Wester

In this episode we hear about weird Magnetars, Supercomputers and Gravitational Wave discoveries from Professor  Matthew Bailes.

Dr Bailes  is the founder and Director of the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav). He is an advisor to the Breakthrough Listen project as well as leading the MeerTIME project. His team also developed a supercomputer for the 50 year-old Molonglo telescope to transform it into a pulsar timing and FRB discovery machine.We should note here that Duncan Lorimer and Professor Bailes  were the original discoverers of FRBs, Fast Radio Bursts, which we have featured in a few previous episodes.  Dr Bailes has a huge number of papers published with 16 thousand professional citations in Astrophysics journals.  Most recently he is co-author of a paper about some puzzling discoveries about a re-awakening magnetar, using instruments including the new SKA precursor MeerKAT telescopes in South Africa, the iconic Parkes dish in Australia and the Chandra and Swift space-based instruments. 

For astrophotographers and amateur astronomers, Dr Ian ‘Astroblug’ Musgrave tells us what’s currently up, and what to look for in the night and morning skies. In ‘Ian’s tangent’ we look at the reprisal of ‘Lost in Space’ and how pulsars can be a real-life GPS system for spacecraft anywhere in the universe.

In the News:
SKA updated with a doubling of MWA antennas
China’s upcoming soft landing of rovers on the ‘dark side of the moon’
The mystery of the origins of pulsar pulses uncovered by Russian team


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