Exploring the Universe. One word at a time.
Article has moved: the astronomy word of the week is “Jansky”.
[...] Speaking of what space does for us directly, Astrowow asks what long distance calls have to do with the center of the galaxy. The short and cryptic answer is “Jansky,” and it’s also the astronomy word of the week. [...]
There is a working replica of the Jansky antenna outside the gates of the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory facility in Green Bank, West Virginia. It’s not very highly directional, but it does discriminate a bit in the azimuthal direction — the vertical metal bits in the picture act as dipoles, and they’re hooked together in series by shielded cables, if memory serves.
In the summer of 1984, when I was there, a group of other students tried to use the antenna to detect radio waves from Jupiter. My recollection is a bit hazy, but I recall that there was a pretty good bump in the received amplitude at around the right time.
A working replica — how cool! I’ve never been to Green Bank, unfortunately — I would like to stop by next time I’m out that way.
Thanks for reading.
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