Monday, May 9, 2011

Radio Astronomy from Cork in Ireland!!

OK...Not exactly Amateur Radio related but I can see it from my house! The piece below appeared in a local newspaper about a 32 metre dish which happens to be the largest in the country. Instead of leaving it to rust, the dish which is located just north of Midleton in Cork is now going to be utilised for Radio Astronomy.

"IT was destined for the scrapheap, but a rusted and outdated satellite dish will soon be transmitting sounds from the very edges of the known universe.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 √Čireann, 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 cool is that! They'll be fine as long as they don't listen on 50 MHz ;o)


Mark Lee said...

Hello John...
de Mark MW0MJB...just across the water here in Pembrokeshire..

I found your blog via Steve MW0BBU.

Both Steve and myself have started the QRPpembrokeshire blog.

I like your blog and have bookmarked it in favourites.

Thanks for putting this post on about the Radio Astronomy dish...

Apart from ham radio I'm an astronomy nut...

It's good to see they're keeping the dish and putting it to good use.

I'm hoping to put up a cb vert this summer...might catch you on 10m ......73 fer now


John Desmond, EI7GL said...

Hi Mark

I remember working Steve, GW0PLP long time ago on 10m tropo. Think we were using just verticals at both ends & SSB. I can remember signals were v weak....enough to complete a contact and exchange reports but not comfortable enough to have a long conversation. Huge contrast to 2m.

Good work on the QRPP blog. Just found it recently.

Astronomie said...

If you have motivation to work then every thing is possible, That is what I got from your post.