24 hours of e-VLBI

electronic Very Long Baseline Interferometry

This demo is about real-time VLBI (electronic VLBI, e-VLBI for short) which is an adaptation of a radio-astronomical technique called Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI).

VLBI is the method of observation where radiotelescopes which are geographically far apart work together, simulating one giant telescope.

The image shows VLBI telescopes around the world participating in this demonstration. Several separate organisations run a VLBI-network, like for example the Long Baseline Array (LBA) in Australia,the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) in North-America and the European VLBI Network (EVN) in Europe.

These facilities provide scientists with the highest resolution astronomical images available.

To illustrate: being able to use a telescope the size of Europe or larger, VLBI delivers images showing up to a 1000 times more detail than those of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Several times per year the telescopes work together, providing the most detailed images of violent phenoma in the universe like black holes and active galactic nuclei.

It is the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE) which, on behalf of the EVN, coordinates these observing sessions and helps scientists prepare the observation and analyze the data afterwards.