Monday, May 9, 2011
Radio Astronomy from Cork in Ireland!!
"IT was destined for the scrapheap, but a rusted and outdated satellite dish will soon be transmitting sounds from the very edges of the known universe. Astronomers will upgrade the 32-metre dish with hi-tech detectors, transforming it into the country’s largest deep space radio telescope and enabling it to "listen" to cosmic signals coming from distant galaxies created soon after the Big Bang. It is hoped to be in operation by June 2011.
Details of the exciting partnership between Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the National Space Centre (NSC) Ltd will be announced this morning by Sean Sherlock TD, the Minister of State with responsibility for Research and Innovation. The telescope, located just outside Cork city, will allow astronomers to "listen" to radio waves coming from some of the most mysterious and oldest objects in the universe.
Because of its huge size, the telescope will be able to pick up signals from black holes, pulsars and quasars located billions of light years from Earth — almost at the edge of the observable universe. It will also be able to "image" most astronomical objects such as galaxies, nebulae and even radio emissions from planets.
The telescope will be linked to CIT’s Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork city, and in turn made available to thousands of school children, making it one of the biggest in Europe used for education and outreach. IT’s head of research, Dr Niall Smith, said: "There is nothing else like it in the country. It’s a pretty special instrument."
The dish, at Elfordstown, near Midleton, was developed in the 1980s as part of a joint venture between the European and American communications industries. It entered service in 1984 with Telecom Éireann, carrying data, voice and television services between Europe and the US until the mid-1990s. But its 32-metre dish was considered too big for today’s commercial uses and it could simply have been left to rust.
This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Monday, May 09, 2011"
So a Radio Astronomy dish located 15 kms away...how cool is that! They'll be fine as long as they don't listen on 50 MHz ;o)