California is home to a couple of significant telescopes in the world, including the one found at the Palomar Observatory. Known as one of the largest in the world, the telescope has pushed the limitations of space technology. In this article, you will also learn about the Jodrell Bank Observatory in England and the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.
Hale Telescope , California
At the Palomar Observatory, you will find the Hale Telescope, which was first used in 1949. The telescope measured 200 inches, which meant that it beat out the Mount Wilson Observatory for honors as the largest telescope in the world. The reflecting telescope was named after astronomer George Ellery Hale, who took funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and oversaw the planning, design and construction of the observatory. Unfortunately, Hale did not live long enough to see the final results. The Hale telescope turned out to be a success , pushing the limits of previous telescope capabilities. It had double the aperture of the largest telescope. It also utilized new technologies, such as vapor deposited aluminum and low thermal expansion glass.
Jodrell Bank Observatory , England
The first telescope for Great Britain was originally called the Jodrell Bank Experimental Station, but is now known as the Jodrell Bank Observatory. Situated in Cheshire, England, the observatory is home to a handful of radio telescopes. The observatory was established in 1945 with the guidance of Sir Bernard Lovell, who was interested in investigating cosmic rays following his work on radar during World War II. At one time, the observatory was regarded as having the largest radio telescope in the world. Possessing a dish that measured 250 feet, the telescope was first in use in 1957. To date, the observatory has been used to study meteors, quasars, pulsars, and gravitational lenses.
Arecibo Observatory , Puerto Rico
The Arecibo Observatory (also known as the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center) in Puerto Rico is an important piece of equipment because it took honors for being the most powerful radio telescope in the world. Construction on the observatory was completed in 1963. Today, it is operated by Cornell University in conjunction with the National Science Foundation.
The telescope in the observatory measures 1,000 feet , making it the largest single-aperture telescope ever made. It is here that an array of research is conducted, including aeromony, radio astronomy, and radar astronomy observations of the objects in the Solar System. In order to use the telescope, scientists must submit proposals, which are then sent to an independent board for evaluation.
In 2008, the center was placed on the list for U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Another claim to fame of the observatory is its appearances in films and TV shows. For instance, it was featured in the final scenes of James Bond movie “Golden Eye” (1995).