Observations and Commissioning

We will observe a total of 30 galaxies, of various Hubble types, masses and inclinations. The sample is described here.

Our goal for the deep survey is to detect HI column densities of 1.25 · 1019 cm−2 at 5σ over 16 km s−1 at 30” resolution with a channel separation of 5 km s-1.  At a resolution of ∼ 90", this enables detections at the ∼ 5 · 1017 cm−2 level (3σ). By using stacking of HI profiles these limits can be lowered further.  Optimal smoothing to 16 km s-1 channels would increase sensitivities by a factor (16/5)1/2.

The figures on this page compares the sensitivity of MHONGOOSE with those of existing HI surveys. It is clear that MHONGOOSE probes the low column densities in galaxies at resolutions that will only be surpassed by the SKA.

MeerKAT commissioning currently underway. The first test observations for MHONGOOSE are expected later in 2017, with extensive commissioning and survey preparations in 2018. The first full survey observations are expected towards the end of 2018.

The most up-to-date version of the MeerKAT roll-out plan is also available at http://public.ska.ac.za/meerkat/meerkat-schedule.

© Erwin de Blok 2017