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X-ray binaries provide us with a unique test bed for understanding the behaviour of matter at extreme densities and under the influence of powerful magnetic fields. The X-ray binaries research at UCC focuses on finding and understanding these binaries within our Galaxy through use of machine learning, new facilities such as iLOFAR, and next generation facilities such as ESA's ATHENA mission.

In the News

Image of GOTO telescope by Krzysztof Ulaczyk
06 Oct 2021

Invisible Monsters: Searching for the hidden population of galactic black holes

We're delighted to welcome back Dr Mark Kennedy to the Astrophysics: X-ray Binaries research group, for his two-year IRC Govt of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellowship on his project "Invisible Monsters: Searching for the hidden population of galactic black holes"!
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Aerial photograph of the Irish Low Frequency Array station IE613 (I-LOFAR) at Birr Castle, County Offaly
25 Aug 2021

First Results from the REAL-time Transient Acquisition backend (REALTA) at the Irish LOFAR station

Modern radio interferometers such as the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) are capable of producing data at hundreds of gigabits to terabits per second. This high data rate makes the analysis of radio data cumbersome and computationally expensive. While high performance computing facilities exist for large national and international facilities, that may not be the case for instruments operated by a single institution or a small consortium. Data rates for next generation radio telescopes are set to eclipse those currently in operation, hence local processing of data will become all the more important. Here, we introduce the REAL-time Transient Acquisition backend (REALTA), a computing backend at the Irish LOFAR station (I-LOFAR) which facilitates the recording of data in near real-time and post-processing. We also present first searches and scientific results of a number of radio phenomena observed by I-LOFAR and REALTA, including pulsars, fast radio bursts (FRBs), rotating radio transients (RRATs), the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), Jupiter, and the Sun.
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First floor, School of Physics, University College Cork, Ireland. ,