Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dutch Treat

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Robert Langenhuysen of the Dwingeloo Radio Observatory located in the Netherlands. They have an old 25-meter radio telescope that began operations in 1956, but recently fell into disuse.

The good news is that the "C.A. Muller Radio Astronomy Station" foundation ("CAMRAS" for short) has brought the telescope back into working order! You can even see a live data stream from the dish, which is currently acting as a transit scope. It is wonderful to see old instruments come alive again.

Robert was kind enough to send me a copy of the CAMRAS newsletter that details some of his visit to Palomar. Be warned the newsletter is written in Dutch.

Here's Robert & I from the newsletter:

According to Babelfish the caption reads:

"Scott left me also vestiges see from the time of the construction of this telescope. Just like at us in Dwingeloo lie in the field still pieces concrete from that time. In the case of Mt Palomar it goes mirror that made for a disk reinforced concrete for the size of Pyrex the glass as a dummy weight served."
Computer translations aren't all that great, are they?

Robert tells me that the CAMRAS website will soon be available in English as well as Dutch and that the facility will be available for people wishing to use a 35-meter radio telescope for their own research projects. How cool is that?

In case you were wondering, our concrete dummy weight is located right next to the dome of the Hale Telescope and can be seen here. It is the same size as the 200-inch mirror and it weighs the same as the mirror and the mirror cell.

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