The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is one of three Square Kilometre Array Precursor telescopes and is located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in the Murchison Shire of the mid-west of Western Australia, a location chosen for its extremely low levels of radio frequency interference. The MWA operates at low radio frequencies, 80-300 MHz, with a processed bandwidth of 30.72 MHz for both linear polarisations, and consists of 128 aperture arrays (known as tiles) distributed over a ß3-km diameter area. Novel hybrid hardware/software correlation and a real-time imaging and calibration systems comprise the MWA signal processing backend. In this paper, the as-built MWA is described both at a system and sub-system level, the expected performance of the array is presented, and the science goals of the instrument are summarised.
Most known extrasolar planets (exoplanets) have been discovered using the radial velocity or transit methods. Both are biased towards planets that are relatively close to their parent stars, and studies find that around 17-30% (refs 4, 5) of solar-like stars host a planet. Gravitational microlensing, on the other hand, probes planets that are further away from their stars. Recently, a population of planets that are unbound or very far from their stars was discovered by microlensing. These planets are at least as numerous as the stars in the Milky Way. Here we report a statistical analysis of microlensing data (gathered in 2002-07) that reveals the fraction of bound planets 0.5-10 AU (Sun-Earth distance) from their stars. We find that 17(+6)(-9)% of stars host Jupiter-mass planets (0.3-10 M(J), where M(J) = 318 M(⊕) and M(⊕) is Earth's mass). Cool Neptunes (10-30 M(⊕)) and super-Earths (5-10 M(⊕)) are even more common: their respective abundances per star are 52(+22)(-29)% and 62(+35)(-37)%. We conclude that stars are orbited by planets as a rule, rather than the exception.
We present the first measurement of the planet frequency beyond the "snow line," for the planet-to-star mass-ratio interval −4.5 < log q < −2, corresponding to the range of ice giants to gas giants. We find d 2 N pl d log q d log s = (0.36 ± 0.15) dex −2 at the mean mass ratio q = 5 × 10 −4 with no discernible deviation from a flat (Öpik's law) distribution in logprojected separation s. The determination is based on a sample of six planets detected from intensive follow-up observations of high-magnification (A > 200) microlensing events during 2005-2008. The sampled host stars have a typical mass M host ∼ 0.5 M , and detection is sensitive to planets over a range of planet-star-projected separations (s −1 max R E , s max R E), where R E ∼ 3.5 AU (M host /M) 1/2 is the Einstein radius and s max ∼ (q/10 −4.3) 1/3. This corresponds to deprojected separations roughly three times the "snow line." We show that the observations of these events have the properties of a "controlled experiment," which is what permits measurement of absolute planet frequency. High-magnification events are rare, but the survey-plus-follow-up high-magnification channel is very efficient: half of all high-mag events were successfully monitored and half of these yielded planet detections. The extremely high sensitivity of high-mag events leads to a policy of monitoring them as intensively as possible, independent of whether they show evidence of planets. This is what allows us to construct an unbiased sample. The planet frequency derived from microlensing is a factor 8 larger than the one derived from Doppler studies at factor ∼25 smaller star-planet separations (i.e., periods 2-2000 days). However, this difference is basically consistent with the gradient derived from Doppler studies (when extrapolated well beyond the separations from which it is measured). This suggests a universal separation distribution across 2 dex in planet-star separation, 2 dex in mass ratio, and 0.3 dex in host mass. Finally, if all planetary systems were "analogs" of the solar system, our sample would have yielded 18.2 planets (11.4 "Jupiters," 6.4 "Saturns," 0.3 "Uranuses," 0.2 "Neptunes") including 6.1 systems with two or more planet detections. This compares to six planets including one twoplanet system in the actual sample, implying a first estimate of 1/6 for the frequency of solar-like systems.
Using the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), the low-frequency Square Kilometre Array (SKA1 LOW) precursor located in Western Australia, we have completed the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky MWA (GLEAM) survey, and present the resulting extragalactic catalogue, utilising the first year of observations. The catalogue covers 24, 831 square degrees, over declinations south of +30 • and Galactic latitudes outside 10 • of the Galactic plane, excluding some areas such as the Magellanic Clouds. It contains 307,455 radio sources with 20 separate flux density measurements across 72-231 MHz, selected from a time-and frequency-integrated image centred at 200 MHz, with a resolution of ≈ 2 . Over the catalogued region, we estimate that the catalogue is 90 % complete at 170 mJy, and 50 % complete at 55 mJy, and large areas are complete at even lower flux density levels. Its reliability is 99.97 % above the detection threshold of 5σ, which itself is typically 50 mJy. These observations constitute the widest fractional bandwidth and largest sky area survey at radio frequencies to date, and calibrate the low frequency flux density scale of the southern sky to better than 10 %. This paper presents details of the flagging, imaging, mosaicking, and source extraction/characterisation, as well as estimates of the completeness and reliability. All source measurements and images are available online . This is the first in a series of publications describing the GLEAM survey results.
Astronomical widefield imaging of interferometric radio data is computationally expensive, especially for the large data volumes created by modern non-coplanar many-element arrays. We present a new widefield interferometric imager that uses the w-stacking algorithm and can make use of the w-snapshot algorithm. The performance dependencies of CASA's wprojection and our new imager are analysed and analytical functions are derived that describe the required computing cost for both imagers. On data from the Murchison Widefield Array, we find our new method to be an order of magnitude faster than w-projection, as well as being capable of full-sky imaging at full resolution and with correct polarisation correction. We predict the computing costs for several other arrays and estimate that our imager is a factor of 2-12 faster, depending on the array configuration. We estimate the computing cost for imaging the low-frequency Square-Kilometre Array observations to be 60 PetaFLOPS with current techniques. We find that combining w-stacking with the w-snapshot algorithm does not significantly improve computing requirements over pure w-stacking. The source code of our new imager is publicly released.
In the favoured core-accretion model of formation of planetary systems, solid planetesimals accumulate to build up planetary cores, which then accrete nebular gas if they are sufficiently massive. Around M-dwarf stars (the most common stars in our Galaxy), this model favours the formation of Earth-mass (M % ) to Neptune-mass planets with orbital radii of 1 to 10 astronomical units (AU), which is consistent with the small number of gas giant planets known to orbit M-dwarf host stars 1-4 . More than 170 extrasolar planets have been discovered with a wide range of masses and orbital periods, but planets of Neptune's mass or less have not hitherto been detected at separations of more than 0.15 AU from normal stars. Here we report the discovery of a 5.5 15.5 22.7 M % planetary companion at a separation of 2.6 11.5 20.6 AU from a 0.22 10.21 20.11 M ( M-dwarf star, where M ( refers to a solar mass. (We propose to name it OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, indicating a planetary mass companion to the lens star of the microlensing event.) The mass is lower than that of GJ876d (ref. 5), although the error bars overlap. Our detection suggests that such cool, sub-Neptune-mass planets may be more common than gas giant planets, as predicted by the core accretion theory.Gravitational microlensing events can reveal extrasolar planets orbiting the foreground lens stars if the light curves are measured frequently enough to characterize planetary light curve deviations with features lasting a few hours 6-9 . Microlensing is most sensitive to planets in Earth-to-Jupiter-like orbits with semi-major axes in the range 1-5 AU. The sensitivity of the microlensing method to lowmass planets is restricted by the finite angular size of the source stars 10,11 , limiting detections to planets of a few M % for giant source stars, but allowing the detection of planets as small as 0.1M % for main-sequence source stars in the Galactic Bulge. The PLANET collaboration 12 maintains the high sampling rate required to detect low-mass planets while monitoring the most promising of the .500 microlensing events discovered annually by the OGLE collaboration, as well as events discovered by MOA. A decade of pioneering microlensing searches has resulted in the recent detections of two Jupiter-mass extrasolar planets 13,14 with orbital separations of a few AU by the combined observations of the OGLE, MOA, MicroFUN and PLANET collaborations. The absence of perturbations to stellar microlensing events can be used to constrain the presence of planetary lens companions. With large samples of events, upper LETTERS 1 PLANET/RoboNet Collaboration
In recent years, millisecond-duration radio signals originating in distant galaxies appear to have been discovered in the so-called fast radio bursts. These signals are dispersed according to a precise physical law and this dispersion is a key observable quantity, which, in tandem with a redshift measurement, can be used for fundamental physical investigations. Every fast radio burst has a dispersion measurement, but none before now have had a redshift measurement, because of the difficulty in pinpointing their celestial coordinates. Here we report the discovery of a fast radio burst and the identification of a fading radio transient lasting ~6 days after the event, which we use to identify the host galaxy; we measure the galaxy's redshift to be z = 0.492 ± 0.008. The dispersion measure and redshift, in combination, provide a direct measurement of the cosmic density of ionized baryons in the intergalactic medium of ΩIGM = 4.9 ± 1.3 per cent, in agreement with the expectation from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, and including all of the so-called 'missing baryons'. The ~6-day radio transient is largely consistent with the radio afterglow of a short γ-ray burst, and its existence and timescale do not support progenitor models such as giant pulses from pulsars, and supernovae. This contrasts with the interpretation of another recently discovered fast radio burst, suggesting that there are at least two classes of bursts.
The range of benefits associated with regular physical activity participation is irrefutable. Despite the well-known benefits, physical inactivity remains one of the major contributing factors to ill-health throughout industrialized countries. Traditional lifestyle interventions such as group education or telephone counseling are effective at increasing physical activity participation; however, physical activity levels tend to decline over time. Consumer-based wearable activity trackers that allow users to objectively monitor activity levels are now widely available and may offer an alternative method for assisting individuals to remain physically active.
This review aimed to determine the effects of interventions utilizing consumer-based wearable activity trackers on physical activity participation and sedentary behavior when compared with interventions that do not utilize activity tracker feedback.
A systematic review was performed searching the following databases for studies that included the use of a consumer-based wearable activity tracker to improve physical activity participation: Cochrane Controlled Register of Trials, MEDLINE, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, SPORTDiscus, and Health Technology Assessments. Controlled trials of adults comparing the use of a consumer-based wearable activity tracker with other nonactivity tracker–based interventions were included. The main outcome measures were physical activity participation and sedentary behavior. All studies were assessed for risk of bias, and the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation system was used to rank the quality of evidence. The guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement were followed. A random-effects meta-analysis was completed on the included outcome measures to estimate the treatment effect of interventions that included an activity tracker compared with a control group.
There was a significant increase in daily step count (standardized mean difference [SMD] 0.24; 95% CI 0.16 to 0.33;
<.001), moderate and vigorous physical activity (SMD 0.27; 95% CI 0.15 to 0.39;
<.001), and energy expenditure (SMD 0.28; 95% CI 0.03 to 0.54;
=.03) and a nonsignificant decrease in sedentary behavior (SMD −0.20; 95% CI −0.43 to 0.03;
=.08) following the intervention versus control comparator across all studies in the meta-analyses. In general, included studies were at low risk of bias, except for performance bias. Heterogeneity varied across the included meta-analyses ranging from low (I
=3%) for daily step count through to high (I
=67%) for sedentary behavior.
Utilizing a con...
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