Related topics: black holes · telescope · radio waves · antenna · massive stars

The Very Large Array: Astronomical shapeshifter

When the Very Large Array was completed forty years ago, it was a different kind of radio telescope. Rather than having a single antenna dish, the VLA has 27. The data these antennas gather is combined in such a way that ...

Cosmic beasts and where to find them

Two giant radio galaxies have been discovered with South Africa's powerful MeerKAT telescope. These galaxies are thought to be amongst the largest single objects in the Universe. The discovery has been published today in ...

A new way to look for gravitational waves

In a paper published today in Physical Review Letters, Valerie Domcke of CERN and Camilo Garcia-Cely of DESY report on a new technique to search for gravitational waves—the ripples in the fabric of spacetime that were first ...

Looking for dark matter near neutron stars with radio telescopes

In the 1970s, physicists uncovered a problem with the Standard Model of particle physics—the theory that describes three of the four fundamental forces of nature (electromagnetic, weak, and strong interactions; the fourth ...

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Radio telescope

A radio telescope is a form of directional radio antenna used in radio astronomy and in tracking and collecting data from satellites and space probes. In their astronomical role they differ from optical telescopes in that they operate in the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum where they can detect and collect data on radio sources. Radio telescopes are typically large parabolic ("dish") antenna used singularly or in an array. Radio observatories are located far from major centers of population in order to avoid electromagnetic interference (EMI) from radio, TV, radar, and other EMI emitting devices. This is similar to the locating of optical telescopes to avoid light pollution, with the difference being that radio observatories will be placed in valleys to further shield them from EMI as opposed to clear air mountain tops for optical observatories.

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