Telescope a day - 6/7

in Photography Loverslast year


I'm back with radio telescope photos for the next two posts. In this one I'm presenting ATCA radio interferometer with 6 radio antennas each having 22m in diameter. This was my first visit to this amazing facility and I've read and studied so much about how these things work, with 65m / 100m even 300m diameter... and well, it sounds amazing but it's only a damn photo in the textbook. So the first sight blew my mind. 22m metal giant in front of you - that's 380 squared meters + the supporting construction with all the instruments inside it's basically a two-level building.

5 out of 6 antennas can be moved on the tracks, to create several configurations alongside the 3km track - depending on their proximity and spacing we can tune our telescopes to observe with higher resolution or bunch them up close and lose the resolution but gain sensitivity for diffuse radiation. Depending on the science case and object you need one or another / or maybe both and then combine the observations. 6th antenna is another 3km from the end of the track and it is stationary, across the fields - I wanted to go there but telescope personnel warned me not to go, especially during the dusk since farmers are usually shooting the kangaroos around, and you do not want to be between them.




Another beauty of radio telescopes is that you can observe during the day if Sun is not active, and you stay away from it, in history few of the telescope receivers were fried due to the reflection of solar light into the receiver. However, there are specialized solar radio observatories as well. :)
Enjoy the video of slewing one of the antennas to align just for photo-shooting :) privileges when you can play with beasts like these.

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Fried receivers and kangaroos –hnmm.

Even better fried kangaroos! :D with some smokey receivers on the side.

Yay! These metal giants are sure great peering into the deep unknown. I can't explain, but I love the site of them dishes. Always have.

Dishes are amazing :) and on top of that mobile phones, bluetooth/wi-fi are forbidden on site :) perfect joy without any interruptions. :) Next one in single dish but... huge :D

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