AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 78 Galactic Astronomy with the Arecibo L-band Feed Array
Special Session, Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 10:00-11:30am, Pacific Salon 1

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[78.05] A Full-Stokes ALFA Continuum Survey

A.R. Taylor (University of Calgary)

The GALFA continuum science consortium is planning to use the new Arecibo L-Band feed array (ALFA) to carry out a full-Stokes radio continuum survey of the sky visible from Arecibo Observatory. The key objective of the GALFA Continuum Transit Survey (GALFACTS) is to secure specto-polarimetric images of the linearly polarized emission over the full range of Galactic latitudes from the Galactic mid-plane to the pole with a resolution of 3.3', a sensitivity of ~ 100 \muJy/beam, and covering a bandwidth of 1225 -- 1525 MHz. This survey will allow us to create sensitive Rotation Measure maps and to probe the structure of the Galactic magnetic field and the magneto-ionic component of the Galactic Interstellar Medium through the effect of Faraday Rotation by the ISM upon both the smooth Galactic synchrotron radiation field and a dense grid of background polarised extragalactic radio sources. At ~ 100 \muJy/beam, the survey will detect of ~ 105 background polarised radio source probes with an average separation on the sky of about 15'.

We are carrying out pilot observations to demonstrate the imaging capability and to measure the polarimetric response of the Array. I will report the status of these observations and review the plans and scientific goals for the project.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: russ@ras.ucalgary.ca

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