National Radio Astronomy Observatory

E The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Radio Telescope (GBT) focuses 2.3 acres of radio light. It is 485ft tall, nearly as tall as the nearby mountains and much taller than pine trees in the national forest. The telescope is in a valley of the Allegheny mountains to shield the observations from radio interference.

Radio astronomy – the study of celestial objects that give off radio waves. With radio astronomy, we study astronomical phenomena that are often invisible or hidden in other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Since radio waves penetrate dust, we use radio astronomy techniques to study regions that cannot be seen in visible light, such as the dust-shrouded, busy center of our Galaxy, the Milky Way.

Radio telescope – a form of radio receiver used in astronomy. In contrast to an “ordinary” telescope, which receives visible light, a radio telescope “sees” radio waves emitted by radio sources, typically by means of a large parabolic (“dish”) antenna, or arrays of them.

National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) – Founded in 1956, the NRAO provides state-of-the-art radio telescope facilities for use by the international scientific community.

  • Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) – the world’s most sensitive single-dish radio telescope.
  • Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) – Radio telescopes receive radio waves emitted by celestial bodies — stars and other objects in space — and convert those signals into images using computers and video displays. Radio signals from far away are very weak and require very large receivers to detect. Engineers at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory created the Very Large Array (VLA). Twenty-seven, 82-foot-diameter dishes combine their signals to produce an image equal to one made by a telescope 22 miles across. more

That’s engineering

  • electromagnetic spectrum
  • visible light

Engineering ideas

  • receiver, radio waves, antenna, array, parabola, celestial, signal, detect, electromagnetic, spectrum, visible, light

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