e-MERLIN / VLBI National Radio Astronomy Facility

Very Long Baseline Interferometry

Very Long Baseline Interferometry

VLBI provides astronomers with their sharpest view of the most energetic phenomena in the universe, including expanding supernovae, pulsars, flare stars, star-forming regions in molecular clouds, the environment surrounding nearby and distant galaxies, gravitational lenses, starburst galaxies and distant active galactic nuclei.

The European VLBI Network (EVN) is an interferometric array of radio telescopes spread throughout Europe (and beyond) that conducts unique, high resolution, radio astronomical observations of cosmic radio sources. It is the most sensitive VLBI array in the world, thanks to the collection of extremely large telescopes that contribute to the network.

The Lovell Telescope and, often, other e-MERLIN antennas take part in European VLBI sessions several times a year. This achieves 5-mas resolution at 5-7 GHz (even better in Global VLBI). The upgraded correlator at JIVE now allows wide-field imaging and high spectral resolution, as well as real-time observing of transient or other time-critical sources.

The UK in VLBI

The UK, via the e-MERLIN/VLBI national facility has been a major participant in VLBI since its outset and Jodrell Bank Observatory was one of the five founding European institutes of the EVN in 1980. The UK, via JBO and MERLIN/e-MERLIN, has been major participant in VLBI ever since.

As part of the EVN several the UK's e-MERLIN telescopes, including the Lovell Telescope, the MK2 and Cambridge, regularly participate in EVN observations and as part of Global VLBI observations conducted in conjunction with the VLBA, the GBT, and/or the VLA telescopes in the U.S. Additionally the MERLIN and now e-MERLIN array often observes alongside the rest of the EVN in joint MERLIN and EVN experiments. The combination of these two unique arrays is massively complementary, with the MERLIN/e-MERLIN array providing vital short-spacing data increasing the EVN's sensitivity to larger scale emission.

EVN Proposals

EVN proposals should be submitted via the JIVE Northstar site.

More extensive guidelines on how to make proposals for the EVN can be found here