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Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA)

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 3:52 AM

"A series of radio antennas can produce an image equal to that of a telescope 22 miles across."

Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA)

PostedTuesday, March 27, 2012 at 3:53 AM

Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA)

A series of radio antennas can produce an image equal to that of a telescope 22 miles across.

Radio telescopes receive radio waves emitted by celestial bodies -- stars and other objects in space -- and convert those signals into images using computers and video displays. Radio signals from far away are very weak and require very large receivers to detect. Since a single receiver big enough to collect signals from many light-years away would collapse under its own weight, engineers at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory created the Very Large Array (VLA). Twenty-seven, 82-foot-diameter dishes combine their signals to produce an image equal to one made by a telescope 22 miles across. The Array's dishes are linked by cable, which makes it the world's largest of this type. 

Learn more about the Very Large Array.

Filed Under Communications Space