Intensity Mapping of The Smith Cloud

The Smith Cloud was first discovered by Gail Bieger, née Smith in 1963. It is a high-velocity cloud of hydrogen gas and is moving towards the galaxy at a speed more than 100 km/s. We took observations of the cloud to map it on a 20-meter Radio telescope at the Green Bank Observatory, Green Bank WV. We accumulated data in 360-second intervals, recorded over 4096 different frequencies centered on the 1420.41 MHz frequency. When an observation ran with the telescope, it scanned a 0.5 by 0.5-degree block in the sky. This year, our observations occurred in a 16 block ring from (l 37, b -12) to (l 39, b -14). This is a 1 block outward expansion upon last year’s data in a 9 block box from (l 37.5, b -12.5) to (l 38.5 ,b -13.5). Our objective was to refine our method of calculation using polynomials to better approximate background radiation and to expand our area of observation into lower density regions that were much more difficult to analyze. This pushed our equipment and methods of analysis close to their limit of sensitivity that we determined to be 12.3 K. This gave us a much better understanding of our capabilities with this telescope moving forward for future research. Finally, we mapped our results against data taken from The Green Bank Telescope to check for accuracy.



Work Title Intensity Mapping of The Smith Cloud
Open Access
  1. Michaels, Zachary
  2. Yeingst, Spencer
  1. Pennstate
  2. Hydrogen Cloud
  3. PennState Abington
  4. Pennsylvania State University
  5. Smith Cloud
  6. ACURA
  7. high velocity cloud
  8. Intensity
  9. Abington
  10. Mapping
  11. PSU
License All rights reserved
Work Type Poster
  1. Schmiedekamp, Carl (Advisor)
  2. Schmiedekamp, Ann (Advisor)
  1. Pennsylvania State University
Publication Date April 2, 2017
  1. Outer space
  1. English
Deposited April 15, 2017




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  • Added Creator Michaels, Zachary
  • Added Creator Yeingst, Spencer
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