A2 GeekTour - Peach Mountain Radio Telescope
Sunday, September 18, 2011 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EDT)
Our second GeekTour is at the U of M Peach Mountain Radio Observatory, piggybacking on their annual open house.
The surface of the dish is constructed from doubly curved panels of aluminum sheeting. Overall, it deviates by less than 0.125 inches from a true paraboloid. The telescope has a two-axis equatorial mounting (with a 40-foot diameter polar gear and a 38-foot diameter declination gear) constructed of galvanized structural steel; the counterweights are lead. The polar and declination axes are aligned to within an accuracy of 20 arcseconds. The total weight of the telescope including mounts and support structures is 400,000 lbs; the foundation is made of concrete blocks weighing 710 tons. Radiometers operating at the Observatory's primary observing frequencies of 4.8, 8.0, and 14.5 GHz are permanently installed near the focus. The cost of the telescope, including mount and concrete foundation but excluding radiometers, was about $270,000, a very low sum compared to present day construction costs.
The telescope is just down the road from the Dexter Cider Mill. I've created a duckshare to facilitate carpooling - try it out and let us know how it works. You can set up a ride as a driver or a passenger. Some starting points I'd recommend:
- Tech Brewery
- Parking lot across from AADL - conventient for bus connections
- Briarwood - pick a convenient landmark
When & Where
Making Ann Arbor a better place for creative and innovative people to live and work by opening the tech culture to everyone.