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e-VLBI comes of age: First e-VLBI science papers published in refereed journal

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DWINGELOO, The Netherlands (15 January 2007) - The Express Production Real-time e-VLBI (EXPReS) project and the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE) are pleased to announce that the first papers resulting from e-VLBI (electronic Very Long Baseline Interferometry) science observations have been accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS). Other papers have been published as conference proceedings, but this first publication of letters in a refereed journal is a milestone of maturity for e-VLBI. The first paper, "First e-VLBI observations of GRS 1915+105", by Rushton et al., was published in the January 2007 issue of MNRAS. The second paper, "First e-VLBI observations of Cygnus X-3", by Tudose et al., has been accepted and will likely be published in the February 2007 issue.

e-VLBI is the next step in VLBI, an astronomical technique which allows signals received at multiple radio telescopes, sometimes on different continents, to be used together to produce images of celestial radio sources with greater resolution. With traditional VLBI, astronomical and precise timing data from each telescope is recorded onto hard disk and shipped to a central data processor for correlation. e-VLBI, or electronic VLBI, instead uses optical networks to connect the telescopes for real-time data correlation. The use of e-VLBI enables the astronomer access to data within one day, as opposed to weeks in traditional VLBI, allowing for strategic decisions on future observations of rapidly changing sources.

The two papers both discuss data taken within the first open call for observations available to the whole scientific community using the six current European e-VLBI Network (EVN) telescopes: Cambridge (UK), Jodrell Bank MkII (UK), Medicina (Italy), Onsala-20m (Sweden), Torun (Poland) and Westerbork (The Netherlands). Data was sent from each of the participating telescopes in real-time via national and international research networks to the EVN correlator at the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (The Netherlands).

About EXPReS
Express Production Real-time e-VLBI Service (EXPReS, is a three-year project funded by the European Commission with the objective of creating a distributed, large-scale astronomical instrument of continental and intercontinental dimensions. This electronic Very Long Baseline Interferometer (e-VLBI) is achieved using high-speed communication networks operating in real-time and connecting together some of the largest and most sensitive radio telescopes on the planet. EXPReS is coordinated by JIVE, the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (, which is hosted by ASTRON, the Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy (, in Dwingeloo.

About JIVE
The Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE, was established as a scientific foundation in December 1993. JIVE's mandate is to support the operations of the European VLBI Network (EVN) in the widest sense. The major activity has been the development, construction and successful operation of the EVN Data Processor, a powerful supercomputer that combines the signals from radio telescopes located across the planet, creating one huge telescope of intercontinental dimensions. Using this technique of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), astronomers can make detailed images of cosmic radio sources, providing astronomers with the clearest, highest resolution view of some of the most distant and energetic objects in the Universe.

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Kristine Yun, Public Outreach Officer
Express Production Real-time e-VLBI Service (EXPReS)
Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe
+31 521-596543

"First e-VLBI observations of GRS 1915+105." A. Rushton (1), R.E. Spencer (1), M. Strong (1), R.M. Campbell (2), S. Casey (1), R.P. Fender (3,4), M.A. Garrett (2), J.C.A. Miller-Jones (4), G.G. Pooley (5), C. Reynolds (2), A. Szomoru (2), V. Tudose (4,6) Z. Paragi (2).

  1. The University of Manchester, Jodrell Bank Observatory
  2. Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe
  3. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton
  4. "Anton Pannekoek" Astronomical Institute, University of Amsterdam
  5. University of Cambridge, Mullar Radio Astronomy Observatory
  6. Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy

"First e-VLBI observations of Cygnus X-3". V. Tudose (1,2), R.P. Fender (3,1), M.A. Garrett (4), J.C.A. Miller-Jones (1), Z. Paragi (4), R.E. Spencer (5), G.G. Pooley (6), M. van der Klis (1), A. Szomoru (4).

  1. Astronomical Institute "Anton Pannekoek", University of Amsterdam
  2. Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy
  3. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton
  4. Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe
  5. Jodrell Bank Observatory, University of Manchester
  6. Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, University of Cambridge

Last modified: October 15, 2007