Introduction: There are many fascinating things about the universe and there are lots to learn from it too. Most of the discoveries in outer space were in our solar system and most of them were observed from the human eye aided by telescopes. Is it possible to observe objects from outer space using instruments other than the telescope? Fortunately, we are able to explore other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum using different kinds of observations such as the radio telescope, invented by Mr. Grote Reber, who was inspired by Mr. Karl Jansky.
The radio telescope has been significant in finding quasars and pulsars that are very distant from our solar system. The Interesting Discovery: In the 1930 s, Mr. Jansky was assigned to investigate the sources of static that possibly may interfere with radio voice transmissions for his company Bell Labs. His investigation involved an antenna, designed to receive radio waves with a frequency of 20.
5 MHz, which he built himself. He installed this antenna onto a turntable therefore it is allowed to rotate in any direction. The turntable was needed for this investigation because by rotating the camera, he could find which direction was to any radio signal. He identified 3 types of static a three-month period of recording: 1. Nearby Thunderstorms 2. Distant Thunderstorms 3.
A Faint steady hiss of unknown origin He first thought that this faint steady hiss was from the radiation by the sun but he later figured out that the radiation came from the Milky Way, in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. The Follow-up: Unfortunately, he couldn't go in further detail due to lack of financial support. For years, it has been ignored until this curious scientist named Grote Reber decided to learn more about cosmic radio waves. He modified a telescope by installing a cylinder containing a radio receiver that amplified faint radio waves, which later was recorded on a graph. By using his homemade telescope that can focus radio waves, the first radio telescope has been invented. What is a Radio Telescope? Basically, a radio telescope is a dish made consisting of conducting metals that reflect radio waves into a focal point designed to receive radio waves from anywhere including celestial bodies, stars, and other matter that gives off radio waves from our galaxy or possibly from other galaxies.
Radio waves are easy to detect because they pass through walls, and the atmosphere of the earth. To receive radio waves, these radio telescopes require great sizes to have a more accurate display and observation of a distant object. There are in total of 7 steps to see the data recorded by the radio telescope: 1. When the radio waves are received they first go into the pre-amplifier, which multiplies the sound about a million of times since radio waves from space are weak. This pre-amplifier has to be accurate in order to produce an accurate display without having it to produce its own noises that might cause inaccuracy. 2.
Its next station is the mixer, and its job is to lower the frequency of the signal from the pre-amplifier. Since these radio waves are pretty high frequency, some may escape back to the antenna and produce a feedback. To lower the chance of that, the mixer is significant to the accuracy of this procedure. 3. Next, the radio waves go into the oscillator that translates the waves into a frequency that can be handled by the IF Amplifier. 4.
Then it enters the IF Amplifier, which is a form of filter that only allows certain frequencies to pass through to the Square Law Detector. 5. The square law detector then takes away half of what's left and makes sure that the radio frequency have some voltage, which is also known as conversion to the DC Signal. 6. Before having the radio waves recorded, it has to match the type of output of the previous device. The DC Processors are responsible of amplifying the signal to a level where it matches the recording device.
7. After all the converting and filtering, it is finally recorded using a drift scan. The result of a drift scan makes strip chart. Improvements to the Radio Telescope: Since the radio waves have the longest wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum, these long wavelengths require large dishes.
Because these larger antennas make a bit of difference, it didn't help much in finding farther objects in space and they were also inefficient when it comes to repair or cleaning. Instead of building larger dishes, scientists have made a pattern that consists of many dishes that has the capabilities of a dish that is a few kilometers long in diameter. One of the most famous arrays in the world is the Very Large Array. It consists of 27 antennas that form a huge "Y" pattern and is arranged so it is 36 kilometers from one end to the other. Because this array is so long, they had to be placed in a flat area with clear sky weather all year long. Using this method, we are able to see a larger and more detailed radio wave spectrum.
Conclusion: Radio telescopes have been significant in finding celestial bodies, stars and other objects such as Quasars, radiant objects that are strong emitters of radio waves. As technology advances and inventions improve, we could possibly find what really happened in our past and what will happen in our future, proving or disproving theories, or find other life forms from other galaxies or solar systems. Ghi go, F. "Karl Jansky and the discovery of cosmic radio waves." Jan 2003. NRAO-Green Bank. 15 November 2003 < web > "Inventor of the Week: Grote Reber." Lem elson-Mit Program.
Jan 2002. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 11 November 2003 < web > Licht man, Jeffrey. "Amateur Radio Astronomy." Luxurion.
11 November 2003 < web >.