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Thread: Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory – Cambridge – December 2015

  1. #1
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    Default Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory – Cambridge – December 2015



    The history


    The Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory(MRAO) is home to a number of large aperture synthesis radio telescopes, including the One-Mile Telescope, 5-km Ryle Telescope, and the Arcminute Micro kelvin Imager. Radio interferometry started in the mid-1940s on the outskirts of Cambridge, but with funding from the Science Research Counciland a donation of £100,000 from Mullard Limited, construction of the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory commenced at Lord's Bridge,a few kilometres to the west of Cambridge. The observatory was founded under Martin Ryle of the Radio-Astronomy Group of the Cavendish Laboratory,University of Cambridge and was opened by Sir Edward Victor Appletonon 25 July 1957. This group is now known as the Cavendish Astrophysics Group.

    The site is located at Lord's Bridge,Cambridgeshire on a former ordnance storage facility, next to the now-abandoned Cambridge-Bedford railway line. A portion of the track bed of the old line, running nearly East-West for several miles, was used to form the main part of the "5km" radio-telescope and the Cambridge Low Frequency Synthesis Telescope.


    The ones we decided to visit are known as the AMI Large Array(AMI LA) it is composed of eight 12.8-metre-diameter,equatorially mounted parabolic antennas, which were previously part of the Ryle Telescope. The antennas are separated by distances ranging between 18 and 110 m. The telescope has anangular resolution of approximately 30 arcseonds. The LA is used to image the radio sources (mainly radio galaxies) that contaminate the Small Array observations of the CMB. The LA is being used to carry out the Tenth Cambridge Survey of radio sources. The first results from the survey were used to extend the measured 15-GHzsource counts to sub-millijansky levels; this is an order of magnitude deeper than achieved by the Ninth Cambridge Survey, which was the first survey of significant sky coverage at a comparable radio frequency.


    The Explore


    Again myself and @slayaaaa hit this one up in the no too early morning, we were hoping to get the sun rise, but the sun didn’t really rise all day….



    Rather than hit the normal part we decided to go after this cluster of 8 dishes. They kinda reminded me of a group of flowers aiming up at the sun. We joked as we walked towards then that the dirt and the moss on them looked like they had already been HDR’d lol.

    Once we got in the area where they are we didn’t really know what to do so had a go at climbing them. This was pretty straightforward and fairly fun, although once slayaaaa noticed the hatch in the actual dish the fun really started. We climbed through the hatch and out onto the dish and just chilled for a bit. As it was early in the morning the whole area was pretty quiet and it was nice to sit and relax up there. It was quite interesting to see that some of them were or tracks and could be moved if they needed to be. The track went quite a way into the distance but we didn’t really have time to follow it.


    Enjoy the pics

















































  2. Thanks given by: ajarb, Andymacg, Bones out, Carlh, Chopper, dauntless - UE, DirtyJigsaw, Doodle, ExplorerX, flyboys90, Foxylady, Hugh Jorgan, HughieD, krela, Malcog, Mearing, ocelot397, oldscrote, Rubex, smiler, stu8fish, The Wombat, thorfrun, UrbanX, zanderoy
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  4. #2
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    Awesome stuff! I was just expecting to see a sunset / sunrise report over the dark dishes, was as pleasant surprise.
    Excellent shots, I don't think I've seen close uups of these before!
    Thanks for sharing :)
    www.urbanXphotography.co.uk
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  6. #3
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    Very nice. Glad you climbed them, I would have had no idea of scale otherwise, they're bigger than they look!

  7. #4
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    How can something like this just be left? Incredible place!
    The voice that guides the blind, following not with your ears but your mind

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    are they still in use?

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  10. #7
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    Great info and images,an amazing sight.

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    We know they were still in use and wondered what pics they got while we were sat in one lol

  12. #9
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    Now that's interesting, I like this. I wonder what the dishes were pointing up to.
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

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    That is a really good report, interesting stuff.
    Well done for getting this done.
    Black cat exploring company
    & LSD - Leicester Super Derpers

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