Radio Astronomy is the science of studying radio waves of objects in space, with Radio Astronomy we can see the universe in a whole new light so to speak, we can see things not possible with optical telescopes. At The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory they study anything that gives off radio waves, they mostly focus on the gases between stars, remains of exploding stars and our Sun.
The above image is the 26m Radio Telescope, the observatory also has a Synthesis Radio Telescope which is comprised of seven 9m dishes which when synced together produces a radio dish 600m in diameter, this principle instrument is used to image clouds of hydrogen gas emissions from high energy electrons and magnetic fields in space.
The poles and wires in the above image is also a radio telescope, this telescope is comprised of wire attached between poles, it's like a large short wave radio antenna, it's main function is to gather information about our own Milky Way galaxy. We arrived on site Thursday around noon and since there was no tours available I kinda just walked in some back door and was immediately stopped by some lady asking, get this, if I was a scientist, well I do look the part, had a tote bag around my shoulder, a honking big camera around my neck and gray hair, I was about to answer when a fellow scientist interrupted us, I then asked if I could take a look at their equipment, the other scientist said sure, directed me to their 26m control room, said he be by later, and I was off.
What was really cool about this whole adventure , I mean besides being called a scientist is the fact I was left all alone, got some too cool pictures from areas I don't think I was supposed to be in, due to the restricted area signs, I'd be walking around past their lunch room where my fellow scientists were, snapping pics, which by the way I WILL NOT post, otherwise I'd have to kill you and they me. I did take a couple of videos as well, one of the outside and one of just the control center, I will post the outside today, the control center in a later post.
On a final note, I just had to blog about my freelance photography moment. I was taking an image of the Moon in daylight when a couple of bikers drove by and asked if I was a freelance photographer, again looking the part with the gear, I said yes, because I was interested in what they wanted, actually I'm more free then lance, anyways they wanted their pic taken, gave me 20 bucks and I emailed it to them, didn't turn out very good, stupid filter I put on to protect the lens, so I emailed them some of my other freelance work, don't want bikers coming after me.
I'd like to thank livingsword again for suggesting this visit to the observatory. I'll leave you now with my first Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory video, and by the way my new title is, Bob, Freelance Amateur Astronomer Astrophotographer Scientist.....guy, business cards to follow.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Posted by Bob Johnson at 10:30 AM