Radio Observatory in the Australian Outback

By: John Goldsmith


Region: Australia and Pacific

Site: Western Australia - Australia

Date: November 2012

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The southern night sky appear above Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope antennas. The Milky Way and our neighboring dwarf galaxies the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are visible in this south-looking image. Click on the constellation icon above the image to see another view of this scene with a striking fireball at the horizon. Emerging out of the Western Australian outback MWA is a remarkable telescope for radio astronomy where more than 2000 antennas are spread across 3 square kilometers, in 128 groups of dual-polarisation dipole antennas. Unlike steerable radio telescope dishes, these antennas contain no moving parts. Instead, advanced signal computer processing is used to focus the antennas on different parts of the sky. Murchison is over 800 km away from Perth, the capital of the Western Australia, and the vast area has very few population. Not only can extremely faint cosmic radio wave be detected in this radio-silent area, but the night sky is also extremely dark, giving spectacular views of the cosmos. John Goldsmith,

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