Wallpaper Wednesday

1 06 2011

Australia Compact Telescope Array at Night.

Australia Compact Telescope Array at Night. Photo credit: S. Amy, CSIRO

Obviously, I have a thing for the architecture of radio astronomy.  I blame my appreciation for the dish on COMSAT first, NRAO second, and only those who grew up in the Okanogan know why (unless you followed the links in this sentence). The image above shows four of the six 22-m antennae that comprise the Australia Compact Telescope Array at the Paul Wild Observatory near Narrabri, NSW, Australia. My favorite part of the observatory’s website is the ATCA Live! page, which tells me what the array is currently tracking (“As you read this astronomers are observing the source HD135344AB which has an azimuth of 247.3 degrees and an elevation of 60.1 degrees. The telescope is setup to observe at 17000 and 19000 MHz simultaneously.”). There’s also a nice archive of construction and upgrade photos available for public viewing online. I can’t see finding myself in Narrabri Shire anytime soon, but if you’re in the neighborhood (500 km northwest of Sydney), hit the Visitors Center:  always open, admission is free.