Home > Astronomy, Engineering, Research, Science, Space, Technology > World’s Biggest Telescope LOFAR Commence Work

World’s Biggest Telescope LOFAR Commence Work

February 23, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

 

“Let’s face it. We astronomers like our telescopes BIG. A large telescope usually means that you can see fainter astronomical objects and get clearer pictures. We also like to explore the unknown, such as relatively untouched regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. So what happens when you put these together?

Well, LOFAR is ready to show you. With the unassuming name of LOw Frequency ARray, this pan-European telescope is pushing into new radio frequencies, or “seeing the universe in a new light” as is often said.

LOFAR is primarily being built across the countryside of the Netherlands, but France, Germany, and the United Kingdom have teamed up with their own LOFAR “stations” to make an International LOFAR Telescope.

A LOFAR station looks nothing like the typical picture of a telescope, even of a radio telescope. The radio light is captured by thin, wiry antennas and tiles (see image above). Each station contains hundreds of antennas so that the whole array will combine the power of tens of thousands of radio-light-collecting elements. With international cooperation, they are being spaced as far apart as 1000 km (roughly 600 miles.)”

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