By Wilson, T. L

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As with total power observing, usually one first takes a reference spectrum, and then takes data along a given direction. Then one changes the position of the telescope in the perpendicular direction, and repeats the procedure until the entire region is sampled. Because of the short integration times an entire image of perhaps 15′ × 15′ taken with a 30′′ beam could be finished in roughly 20 minutes. At each position, the S/N ratio may be low, but the procedure can be repeated. With each data transfer, the telescope position is read out.

A general procedure, aperture synthesis, is now the standard method to obtain high quality, high angular resolution images. The first practical demonstration of aperture synthesis in radio astronomy was made by Ryle and his associates. Aperture synthesis allows us to reproduce the imaging properties of a large aperture by sampling the radiation field at individual positions within the area contained within the aperture. In analogy with the approach used by Michelson in the optical wavelength range, the advance in radio astronomy was to measure the mutual coherence function and to show that Millimeter/Sub-Millimeter Astronomy 45 Fig.

Coupled (i. e. responds to differences), the D. C. response (i. e. responds to total power) to ′′ hot–cold′′ or ′′ chopper wheel′′ calibration methods are not used. Instead astronomical data are calibrated in two steps: (1) measurements of atmospheric emission to determine the opacities at the azimuth of the target source, and (2) the measurement of the response of a nearby source with a known flux density; immediately after this, a measurement of the target source is carried out. 4 Compact Sources Usually the beam of radio telescopes are well characterized by Gaussians.