The MERLIN & VLBI Image Gallery - 'MERLIN heritige'

Below are some pictures presenting MERLIN and/or VLBI results. We would love to include your work too. If you have any MERLIN or VLBI science pictures please email them to ( so they can also be included.

If you choose to use any of these images please credit the appropriate scientific articles and contact

Gravational lenses | Galaxies | Supernova | Stars & starforming regions | Telescopes | Logos

Please click on images for full resolution.

Gravitational lenses


MERLIN/VLA images of 18 new gravitational lenses from the JVAS/CLASS survey.
(Myers et al., 2003, MNRAS, 341, 1; Browne et al, 2003, 341, 13)

CLASS 0631+519

MERLIN 1.7 GHz image (contours) of the gravitational lens system CLASS 0631+519, overlaid on the HST I-band image (colour). The HST image shows the two galaxies in the lensing system, and the MERLIN image reveals a large amount of detail that can be used to make mass models of the lens.
(York et al. 2005 MNRAS, 361, 259)

CLASS 0128+437

CLASS 0128+437 is one of the most interesting gravitational lens systems found during the CLASS survey. Model fitting to the 1.4 GHz EVN image has proved difficult, which strongly suggests the presence of substructure in the mass distribution of the lensing galaxy.
(Biggs et al. 2004 MNRAS,350, 949)

CLASS 0218+357

The gravitational lens CLASS B0218+357.
(Biggs et al., 2001, MNRAS, 322, 821


HDF-N galaxy

Faint wide angle-tailed radio galaxy with the Flanking fields of the Hubble Deep Field North. Contours show the deep MERLIN+VLA 1.4GHz radio continuum overlaid onto a 'pseudo-real' colour (BViz) HST ACS image.
(Muxlow et al., 2005 MNRAS, 358, 1159)

HDF-N starburst galaxy

Distant starburst galaxy within Hubble Deep Field North. Contours show the deep MERLIN+VLA 1.4GHz radio continuum overlaid onto a 'pseudo-real' colour (BViz) HST ACS image.
(Muxlow et al., 2005 MNRAS, 358, 1159)

HDF-N sub-mm galaxy

MERLIN+VLA image (contoured) showing the 16 microJy radio source associated with SCUBA 850.1. The original and revised SCUBA positions (SCUBA 1 and 2) are also marked together with the IRAM position and a VLA 8.4 GHz detection. A residual Subaru K band image (false colour) shows the identification to be a very red object lying 0.8 arcseconds to the SSE of elliptical galaxy 3-586.0.
(Muxlow et al., 2005 MNRAS, 358, 1159)

Faint radio sources in the HDF-N

MERLIN+VLA radio contours superimposed on the HDF/HFF for 12 of the 92 detected radio sources in the HDF and HFF
(Muxlow et al., 2005 MNRAS, 358, 1159)


Deep MERLIN + VLA 5GHz image of the nearby starburst galaxy M82.
CREDIT: T. W. B. Muxlow et al.

NGC4194 'The Medusa Merger'

Composit image showing the 1.4GHz MERLIN radio continuum structure (green), Carbon Monoxide Gas (blue) and optical structure (false colour) of the centre of the nearby starforming galaxy merging galaxy NGC4194, otherwise known as the Medusa Merger.
(Beswick et al 2005, A&A 444, 791)

NGC4194 'The Medusa Merger'

1.4GHz MERLIN radio continuum of, and associated HI absorption spectra against, the centre of the nearby starforming galaxy merging galaxy NGC4194, otherwise known as the Medusa Merger.
(Beswick et al 2005, A&A 444, 791)

Arp 193 - H1 absorption'

MERLIN radio continuum image at 1.4GHz (left) and neutral gas (H1) velocity field from the centre of the gas-rich merger Arp193.
(Clemens & Alexander 2004 MNRAS, 350, 66)

NGC 3079 - H1, OH and formaldhyde absorption'

Composite image showing the broadband HST optical image of nearby the Seyfert/LINER galaxy NGC 3079 along with inset high resolution radio continuum images. Neutral and molecular gas absorption spectra observed, with MERLIN, against the nucleus are also inset.

(M. Strong, 2005, PhD thesis, The University of Manchester; Strong et al 2004, ASP conf, 320, 109; Pedlar et al 1996, Vistas in Astronomy, 40, 91)

Mrk 273 - 5GHz MERLIN+EVN and OH masers

MERLIN+EVN image of the northern component of Mrk 273 at 5 GHz. Overlain are the 1.6 GHz maser components colour-coded for velocity.
(Continuum - Bondi et al., 2005, MNRAS, 361, 748; OH masers - Richards et al 2005, MNRAS, 364, 353

3C 293 - H1 absorption

High resolution combined Global VLBI + MERLIN + VLA (inc. Pie Town) 1.35GHz radio continnum image of the nearby radio galaxy 3C293, along with selected HI absorption spectra.
(Beswick et al. 2004, MNRAS, 352, 49)

3C 293 - Jets

Four images showing the jets in the nearby radio galaxy 3C293. Top right: 1.35GHz MERLIN radio image with a 0.2 arcsec resolution. Top left: 1.35GHz Global VLBI + MERLIN + VLA (inc Pie Town) radio image with a 30mas angular resolution (inner part of Top right image only). Bottom left 5GHZ Multi-frequency synthesis MERLIN image with a 50mas angulare resolution. Bottom right: False colour MERLIN 5GHz image overlaid with NIR HST image as contours. Note the brightest radio knots are also traced by the NIR contours.
(Beswick, Pedlar & Holloway 2002, MNRAS, 329, 620; Beswick et al. 2004, MNRAS, 352, 49); Floyd et al. 2006, ApJ, 639, 23)

3C 293 - Jets 2

The radio galaxy 3C293:
MERLIN 5GHz radio contours of the inner jet of 3C293 overlaid upon an HST R-H colour map.
(Floyd et al. 2006, ApJ, 639, 23)

NGC7674 - HI

The sub-arcsecond MERLIN 21 cm nuclear structure of the Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 7674, shown as contours overlaid on a false-colour HST WGPC-2 optical image. The higly localised absorption against the AGN is evident in the inset spectra.
(Beswick, Pedlar & McDonald 2002, MNRAS, 335, 1091

NGC7469 - HI

MERLIN 21 cm radio continuum structure of the nuclear region of the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 7469 overlaid on a false-colour HST WFPC-2 image. Both the radio and optical images show the bright nucleus and diffuse emission from a circumnuclear starburst. The inset spectra show deep nuclear HI absorption detected with MERLIN.
(Beswick, Pedlar & McDonald 2002, MNRAS, 335, 1091


A 1.6 GHz image of the giant radio galaxy 3C 236. With a linear extent of ~4 Mpc, this is the largest known raio source in the universe, although this image shows only in the inner part (~2 kpc) of the source.
(Schilizzi et al., 2001, A&A, 368, 398)


EVN+MERLIN 6-cm and Comparison HST Observations of 3C264. These observations reveal a change in the jet morphology that is coincident with an optical "ring" that has been imaged with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).
(Baum et al, 1997, ApJ, 483, 178


EVN+MERLIN 18cm observations of the luminous infrared galaxy IIIZw35 show the OH megamaser emission to have a ring-like distribution. Such a ring can account for both the compact as well as the diffuse masers observed. The same observations also show compact continuum sources that are consistent with being either radio supernovae or supernova remnants.
(Pihlstrom et al, 2001, A&A, 377, 413)


Expanding Supernovae in M82

False-colour images of 4 epochs, between 1986 and 2001, of VLBI observations of the RSNe 43.31+575 in M82. All images have been convolved with a circular 15mas beam in order to match the earliest 1986 EVN-only epoch. The crosses marked on epoch 4 represent the positions of the three compact knots observed in epoch 1.
(Beswick et al 2006, MNRAS, 369 1221)

Stars & starforming regions

RS Oph movie

Movie showing the radio evolution at 6.034GHz of the recurrent Nova RS Ophiuchi during the first 107 days of its February 2006 outburst as observed with MERLIN.

Image credits: Beswick, Muxlow, O'Brien et al.
Press release
(O'Brien et al., 2006 Nature, 442, 279)

VLBI imageing of RS Oph

Using the VLBA and the EVN the radio emission from the expanding shock-wave in the 2006 outburst of the recurrent Nova RS Ophiuchi has been imaged. The six images show the evolution of the radio structure of the shock wave from 14 days after the outburst to 29 days after outburst at 6 and 18cm. The top and bottom panels are taken from VLBA observations and middle panel from EVN observations.
For further details see the Press release.
(O'Brien et al., 2006 Nature, 442, 279)


An HST optical image of the Trapezium Cluster with Chandra Xray contours overlaid. The inserts show two of the HST Hydrogen alpha images of proplyds within the cluster with MERLIN 5 GHz contours overlaid.
(Graham et al., 2002, ApJ, 570, 222)


(left) MERLIN contours overlaid on an overexposed HST image of q1 Orionis A. The radio source is displaced 220mas from the Hipparcos position (H1). (centre) MERLIN 5GHz contours overlaid on an HST Ha frame of the proplyd LV2. (right) MERLIN contours of the proplyd LV1.
(Graham et al., 2002, ApJ, 570, 222)

OH masers in NML Cyg

OH maser emission around NML Cyg with the polarization vectors shown in pink for the `old' shell and in black for the new more collimated wind.
(Etoka & Diamond, 2004 MNRAS, 348, 24)

Alcohol in W3!

W3(OH) methanol masers along the zone of interaction around a pre-main-sequence star. The excited OH elongated filament (red) is overlain with the positions of ground state masers (symbols) and methanol filaments (purple).
Press Release
(Harvey-Smith & Cohen 2005, MNRAS, 356, 637)

Methanol polarisation

The first 6.7 methanol maser polarisation map. The polarisation vectors indicate a magnetic field along the extended N-S maser structure.

The methanol masers of W3(OH) (contours) including the polarisation vectors (black) scaled linearly according the fractional linear polarisation (PL). The blue triangles denote the main line OH masers from Wright et al. (2004b) for which polarised intensity was detected at 5sigma significance (polarised flux >7 mJy), and the red vectors are their linearly scaled polarisation vectors. The main line OH maser polarisation vectors lengths are scaled down by a factor of 5 with respect to the lengths of the methanol maser polarisation vectors.
(Vlemmings, Harvey-Smith & Cohen, 2006, MNRAS)

Water in V778 Cyg

MERLIN observations of V778 Cyg. The overall structure of H2O maser emission can be seen in the map. The plot of velociy components versus the distance along the major axis clearly confirms the presence of the disc.
Szczerba et al., 2006, A&A, 452, 561

S140 IRS1

An IR K-band speckle interferometry image of S140 IRS1, overlaid with MERLIN 5GHz radio contours.

HM Sge

The innermost regions of the symbiotic nova HM Sge (MERLIN contours overlaid on an HST image).

V723 Cas

The innermost regions of the symbiotic nova HM Sge (MERLIN contours overlaid on an HST image).
MERLIN was used to monitor the expanding, cooling shells of several novae such as V723 Cas, which exploded in 1995. The shell is expanding at ~200kms-1


Global VLBI and MERLIN observations of the precessing beams of the Galactic radio-jet X-ray binary ("microquasar") system SS433 at 1.6 GHz are shown in the top figure. Focusing on the central parts of the source (bottom) reveals the Equatorial Emission Region (discovered by Paragi et al., 1999, A&A 348, 910), quasi-perpendicular to the normal jets. This region changes with the precession cycle. It is most probably related to an equatorial outflow from the binary system.
(Paragi et al, 2001 ApSSS, 276, 131)

SPER water masers

Water maser emission from S Per integrated over the whole shell, which covers a velocity extent of over 30 km/s, expanding in all directions from the star. There are bright hotspots surrounded by fainter diffuse emission. In the next figure, the components of this are colour coded: the most blue shifted material is deep blue, through blue and green, yellow material close to the stellar velocity, and then orange - red - purple is increasingly redshifted. The velocity information and milli-arcsecond resolution gives you a 3D image.
(Richards et al, 1999, MNRAS, 306, 954)


The Lovell Telescope

The 76-m Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory. This telescope is often used as part of MERLIN.

The MERLIN Telescopes

A composite image of all, apart from the Lovell telescope (above), of the MERLIN telescopes.


MERLIN map and images of telescopes.

More images of the Lovell telescope and the other telescopes at Jodrell Bank Observatory can be found here







European VLBI Network (EVN)

The Small JBO/University of Manchester

Small JBO & University of Manchester.


The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC).

More radio images of Radio galaxies can be found on the DRAGNs web-page.

Even more EVN and Global VLBI results and images can be found on JIVE's image gallery.