CSIRO’s Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope in Western Australia.
‘From a distance the 36 white 12-m antennas stand in contrast to the surrounding red earth, low shrubs and sparse vegetation against a stunning clear blue sky. The silence is only disturbed by a flock of galahs overhead or a bungara (a local lizard) scuttling along the ground.’
This from our resident astronomy education specialist Rob Hollow, who recently spent time at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) where our newest radio telescope ASKAP is being commissioned.
As Rob explains, few people will ever get to visit the MRO, aside from those responsible for the maintenance of the facilities. This is to ensure that the exceptional radio quiet environment, necessary for radio astronomy is preserved. He concludes, ‘To visit the MRO is a rare and special feeling. The sense of space and solitude is very real.’
You can read more from Rob here in an article he’s written for the ‘Astronomy Without Borders’ web site.