At NAM I heard a great talk by Gary Fuller on Methanol Masers (a sort of laser created by gas in space). Whilst I find the topic quite interesting its a bit beyond this blog for now. However the telescope used as part of his research is the Parkes 64m telescope in Australia, shown above.
This is the telescope that helped relay the images of the Moon landings in 1969. NASA was quite unsure about the Australian approach to the mission and the events surrounding the days and week preceeding the historic mission are detailed in the 2000 movie ‘The Dish’.
The giant 64m radio dish sits on top of the control room and moves about to view different parts of the sky both day and night (since it is a radio dish and sunlight is unimportant). I went to the Parkes Observatory website and found lots of useful material including this cool movie of a day in the life of the telescope.
[quicktime width=”320” height=”240”]http://www.orbitingfrog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/parkes_mpeg1.mov[/quicktime]