Monday, August 20, 2012

Parkes Observatory

We are all familiar with optical telescopes that allow you to see magnified views of distant stars and planets. Visible light is only a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, though. Electromagnetic energy is a series of energies that travel as waves and they differ in their wavelength (which relates to energy). Visible light is just that section of wavelengths that our eyes can interpret. Radio is another portion of the electromagnetic spectrum with longer wavelengths (lower energies) than visible light. Stars produce energies across the electromagnetic spectrum, and to fully study them we should observe all of these different types of energy. So in addition to optical telescopes, we need other instruments. One example is the 64 meter radio telescope at the Parkes Observatory in Australia. Ross Crawford has built a couple of different LEGO versions.

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