Dr Shivani Bhandari is a fabulous CSIRO research postdoctoral fellow who searches for and tracks down the location of fast radio bursts and other transients using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP).
She tells us a wonderful story of growing up in New Dehli, how she came to love the sky and her education and her Bachelor’s degree, her short stint in industry, then learning how to image the sky at radio wavelengths and her move to Australia for an ICRAR internship then achieving her PhD from Swinburne University in Melbourne supervised by Professors Tara Murphy and Matthew Bailes.
Shivani invites us to put our propellor hats on as she reveals the novel real-time techniques she uses to detect and pinpoint the locations of extragalactic FRBs using the ASKAP array in an absolute radio quiet zone in outback Western Australia, then within minutes calling on instruments from all over the world to examine the same patch of sky at X-ray, gamma-ray photons and neutrinos on timescales ranging from an hour to a few months post-burst.
We discuss the conclusions that have been drawn from studying the environments of both singular and repeating FRBs and how magnetars are becoming the prime suspects for the genesis of FRBs.
Her descriptions of her visits to ASKAP and the rewards of her outreach work in the local schools in this remote region are simply wonderful. Enjoy