Global Jet Watch is an exciting new project which links astronomers at Oxford University with schoolchildren around the world in order to carry out cutting edge research.
Almost a billion billion miles from Earth lies a remarkable nano-quasar called SS433. This exotic phenomenon fires oppositely directed jets of hydrogen from near its central black hole at speeds of over a quarter of the speed of light. These sweep out along an axis every six months, producing a corkscrew pattern. Keeping a constant watch on SS433 is impossible for a single observatory, so our sites are spread around the world to keep the watch going.
Some areas of the website are still under construction, but for now you can read about our project and find information about our target, the cosmic corkscrew. Please contact email@example.com to register your interest and find out how you could be involved in this exciting project.
|June 6, 2013: All the sky from Down Under||Details...|
The Global Jet Watch observatory in Australia (GJW-Oz) is now equipped with an all-sky camera, a fish-eye lens that allows us to view the whole sky above the horizon in a single picture. This was one of a number of upgrades carried out during a visit to GJW-Oz in May. Example images from day-time and from night-time are shown in the figure below. The deployment of the All-Sky Camera means that sky conditions can be monitored from the comfort of the school boarding house, or equally well from GJW-HQ in Oxford. Also deployed was an AAG CloudWatcher which is used to complement sky monitoring when conditions are not ideal and stable. One of the outputs of the CloudWatcher is shown in the lower part of the images included below. Unfortunately the predominance of cloudy weather during the visit meant that there was ample opportunity to test it by day and indeed by night! A Davis Vantage Pro weather station completes the meteorological instrument suite at GJW-OZ. The data and graphs from these may be found on our web-site.
|June 6, 2013: "Read all about it!" - GJW in the AAO newsletter||Details...|
An article describing the Global Jet Watch project has just been published in the newsletter of the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO). It describes our prototype spectrograph (see
first results taken at GJW-IN) and the scientific aims of the round-the-clock measurement of the spectra of micro quasars, including why we want to measure the evolving velocities of the three different types of outflows we know about in micro-quasars: outflows from jets, outflows from winds off the accretion disc and outflows from the circumbinary discs. The construction of the spectrographs is underway and the four actual bespoke spectrographs will be deployed at our observatories in the coming months.
|March 6, 2013: Spectacular spectra from the GJW telescope in India||Details...|
Beautiful, high-resolution spectra were obtained last month - from the Global Jet Watch observatory in India - of light travelling from a famous microquasar - known as CI Cam - from the spectrograph designed specially for the Global Jet Watch telescopes. The first picture shows a spectrum from just five 120-second exposures on this microquasar from the India telescope. Further information on these spectrographs will appear in forthcoming news items, but already the picture above shows that the prototype design is working wonderfully and giving us exquisite data. The spectra are calibrated by means of a lamp containing Krypton gas and Thorium metal which give rise to emission at particular signature wavelengths that span the range of our astrophysical interests. An example spectrum used for wavelength calibration of the spectrograph is shown in the second picture, from just a 20-second exposure.
The Global Jet Watch telescope in India is located at a boarding school in north Karnataka. Visits of a Global Jet Watch team to our observatory there have again been wonderfully supported by the Director and staff of the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore and our very grateful thanks are due to them for their hospitality and support.
|Oct. 9, 2012: Award of 2012 Bragg medal from the Institute of Physics||Details...|
Professor Katherine Blundell, leader of the Global Jet Watch Project and professor of astrophysics at Oxford, was presented with the 2012 Bragg medal and prize by the President of the Institute of Physics (IoP), Professor Sir Peter Knight, at a ceremony in London on October 3rd 2012. The medal was awarded "for promoting engagement in and learning of physics both by carrying research in astronomy into schools overseas and by helping graduate students and postdocs in the UK to talk to schoolchildren about their science".
The prize recognises Katherine's initiation and leadership of Global Jet Watch, as well as her work in developing the "Future Science Leaders' Seminars" for PhD students and junior post-docs from across the UK. The IoP website statement records that Katherine "is committed to clear communication to all and has given numerous talks in environments that vary from schools in developing countries to Chatham House, and has published extensively in specialist literature and in books."
Katherine says "I am delighted and honoured to have been awarded the Bragg medal and prize. It not only recognises me, but also pays tribute to my colleagues worldwide who have given dedicated support to Global Jet Watch, as well as the students at the four Global Jet Watch schools who will be using our telescopes to participate in this global project and learn more about the Universe".