Saturday, February 11, 2012

The giant of Effelsberg

       Somewhere in the dark German forests of the Northern Rhine region lies a giant. A fully steerable radiotelescope, the Effelsberg 100m is one of the largest in the world (Green Bank is ... 0.00051% larger, 4 square meters extra). Moving this 3200 tons titan to another target requires 233 kW of power. 

       The 100m is part of the VLBI and VLBA networks, being used mainly to observe "pulsars, cold gas- and dust clusters, the sites of star formation, jets of matter emitted by black holes and the nuclei of distant far-off galaxies", as said here by his father, the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy.

For a true sense of the scale: from top to bottom of the telescope there are more than 100m (about 60 Alexs tall).

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