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GLEAM: GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky MWA Survey

GLEAM logo

Public Information

The press release for the first data release can be found here.

You can access the GLEAMoscope interactive viewer here.

GLEAM is now available in the Google Play store for Android phones and tablets.

YouTube hosts a TEDx talk on GLEAM by Natasha Hurley-Walker.

For Astronomers

The extragalactic catalogue published in Hurley-Walker et al. (2016) (arXiv) is available at VizieR and will eventually be available in NED (cross-matching 305,455 sources correctly takes several months).

The postage stamp FITS files from the same catalogue are available at from the ICRAR VO service.

As part of the MWA Collaboration policy on open access, the raw visibilities of each year of GLEAM observing are public 18 months after observing finishes.

To work on pre-release GLEAM data, please contact Natasha Hurley-Walker via nhw at icrar dot org.

Survey Strategy

The GLEAM survey covers the entire sky south of Dec +30. A description of the science motivations and survey methodology for GLEAM can be found in Wayth et al. (2015). As has been previously demonstrated in Hurley-Walker (2014), meridian drift scans are an effective surveying technique for the MWA and we re-use the basic strategy for GLEAM. The sky is divided into seven strips in Declination and five frequency ranges as summarised below. The Declinations are chosen such that the peak in the primary beam response for a given setting corresponds approximately to the half power point of the neighbouring beam along the meridian at 150 MHz.

The instantaneous frequency coverage of the MWA is 30.72 MHz, so the frequency range between 72 and 231 MHz is divided into five bands that provide near contiguous coverage, but avoid the band around 137 MHz that is contaminated by satellite interference. The observing is executed as a series of week-long campaigns where a single Declination setting is observed in a night, covering a strip between approximately 8 and 10 hours in length, depending on the time of year. The Sun can be bright and time-variable at MWA frequencies, so observations are only performed at night. Within a night, the observing is broken into a series of 120 s scans for each frequency, cycling through all five frequency settings over 10 minutes. Within a scan, typically 108 s of usable data are collected. Every 2 hours throughout the night, a calibration field is observed over all five frequency settings, again as a set of 120 s scans totalling 10 minutes.

Pointing Declinations (deg)  -72, -55, -40.5, -26.7, -13, +1.6, +18.3
Central Frequencies (MHz) 87.68, 118.4, 154.24, 184.96, 215.68
Frequency resolution (kHz) 40 (first year), 10 (second year)
Time resolution (s) 0.5 (first year), 2 (second year)

Comparison to other surveys 

Survey Name Frequency Range Sensitivity Angular resolution Sky area
  (MHz) (mJy/beam) (arcsec) (sq deg)
GLEAM 74 - 231 6 - 10 ~100 30,000
MSSS-LBA 30 - 74 ~15 ~100 20,000
VLSS 74 100 80 30,000
MSSS-HBA 120 - 160 ~5 ~120 20,000
TGSS 150 2 - 5 25 37,000
MWACS 120 - 180 50 ~180 6,100
MRC 408 ~150 ~100 24,000
SUMSS 843 1 45 8,100
NVSS 1400 0.45 45 35,000

Survey progress

GLEAM observing began in August 2013 and the first year concluded in July 2014. The second year of observing took data at HA +/- = 1 and concluded in July 2015. A bonus third year of observing at high (~250-310MHz) frequency was also performed, and concluded in July 2016.

Each Declination strip of GLEAM is calibrated using a single primary calibrator and then self-calibrated to remove residual amplitude and phase errors. The wide primary beam of the MWA is modelled and calibrated out, and the flux scale is tied to existing catalogues.

The primary output of the first year of GLEAM is an extra-galactic radio source catalogue, published in Hurley-Walker et al. 2017. Other products such as Galactic catalogues (SNRs, HII regions), radio relics, extended radio galaxies, compact polarised sources and diffuse polarised sky maps are also under production.