Today was probably a day I will never forgot. To have an opportunity to see a radio telescope in the field was awesome. The day started very early and with a long ride to the Fort Irwin in the town of Barstow where the telescopes were located. Once there we had to present government issued ids to get passes to get on the base. Everything went smoothly and before we knew it we were at the visitors center.
Shuttle Tire appears in the right photo.
Once there we were given a brief introduction about the telescopes on site and what they were being used for. One of the pieces of information that struck me was the fact that they were communicating with Voyager I with one of the telescopes. I thought this was awesome since Voyager I is on its way out of the solar system. The folks at the visitors center who helped us out all day, I believe it was Leslie and Andrew, did a great job. And I would like to add Mark “the scientists” was awesome. He never once lost his patience with our questions. We visited the laser lab where Larry took over and explained the workings of MASER and HEMT. Larry’s knowledge impressed me tremendously. Later I was told he is one of two people in the world that can repair a MASER.
After a brief talk at the laser lab, we then went to visit the 70 meter telescope. What an awesome sight! And I can’t stop saying that.
After this we went to see other telescopes and even climbed to the top of one. What a sight that was! Of course what happens? They locked me in! forgetting I was in the bathroom.
What a day! I will never forget this and I can’t wait to bring back all this information to my classroom. I’m already excited about next year!