Radio Astronomy and Interferometry Fundamentals – David Wilner

Title: Radio Astronomy and Interferometry Fundamentals [Lecture 1/2]


Speaker: David Wilner, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (dwilner at


Date: 2pm (AEDT) Thursday 19th February 2015


Abstract: Radio astronomy uses observations at radio wavelengths to study celestial objects. This lecture will provide a brief introduction to radio astronomy, including a description of common emission mechanisms and radio telescopes, and why multiple telescopes are linked as interferometers to make high resolution “aperture synthesis” images (a technique recognized by the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics). We will use pictures to develop intuition about the Fourier transform relationship between the sky brightness and visibility function that underlies radio interferometry. (A companion lecture will provide a pedagogical introduction to the process by which radio interferometric images are made.)


Additional Material: Talk slides are available for download here.


Link to Lecture: You can find the lecture on YouTube here.