Saturday, February 20, 2016
The Very Large Array
I'm saving the best for last. Well, if not the best, then the subject that I took the most photographs of. I have described this radio telescope before, but to review the basics - the VLA consists of 27 dishes that are about 80 feet in diameter and stand over a hundred feet tall. The are transported into different configurations by being moved along three sets of railroad tracks, each of which is 13 miles long! What does it do? Well, according to Wikipedia, Astronomers using the VLA have made key observations of black holes and protoplanetary disks around young stars, discovered magnetic filaments and traced complex gas motions at the Milky Way's center, probed the Universe's cosmological parameters, and provided new knowledge about the physical mechanisms that produce radio emission. This is such an amazing place that I couldn't stop taking photographs, and as you can see, I am completely unable to edit my work. Oh, one other very cool thing - since it is a radio telescope, unlike regular telescopes that only capture light, the radio telescopes run night and day, capturing radio emissions.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:47 PM