National Radio Astronomy Observatory


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National Radio Astronomy Observatory

(NRAO), federal observatory for radio astronomyradio astronomy,
study of celestial bodies by means of the electromagnetic radio frequency waves they emit and absorb naturally. Radio Telescopes

Radio waves emanating from celestial bodies are received by specially constructed antennas, called radio telescopes,
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, founded in 1956 and operated under contract with the National Science Foundation by Associated Universities, Inc., a group of major universities. The headquarters are at Charlottesville, Va.; the original observatory site is in Greenbank, W.Va., where the antennas, or radio telescopes, include a fully steerable 328-ft (100-m) off-axis paraboloid with an adjustable surface, the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope; a fully steerable 140-ft (43-m) paraboloid; an interferometer consisting of three steerable 85-ft (26-m) paraboloids; and other radio telescopes. At Kitt Peak, near Tucson, Ariz., NRAO has a 36-ft (11-m) steerable paraboloid; near Socorro, New Mexico, the NRAO's Very Large Array (VLA) consists of 27 parabolic dishes, each 82 ft (25 m) in diameter, mounted on a Y-shaped track with arms up to 14 mi (21 km) long. Finally, the observatory operates the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) consisting of ten radio telescopes placed around the earth that operate in unison. The antenna sites are located in New Hampshire, Iowa, Saint Croix, Texas, New Mexico (two antennas), Arizona, California, Washington, and Hawaii; the headquarters is located at Socorro. The NRAO also is the lead North American partner in the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile (see European Southern ObservatoryEuropean Southern Observatory
(ESO), an intergovernmental organization for astronomical research with headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany. The ESO began in 1962 as a consortium among Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden.
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). Principal research programs of the NRAO include the study of galactic structure, extragalactic radio sources, molecules in space, pulsars, quasars, and the evolution of stars and galaxies. Astronomers using the VLA have discovered filaments, jets, and high-temperature features in the center of our own galaxy and in extragalactic radio sources that may help explain the high energy of quasars. The system allows the study of the nuclei of active galaxies and helps determine distances to radio sources more accurately.
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National Radio Astronomy Observatory

(NRAO) The US radio observatory administered from Charlottesville, Virginia, with various field stations. It is managed by a private consortium of universities in a cooperative agreement with the US government's National Science Foundation. Their principal instruments are the Green Bank Telescope, the VLA, the VLBA, and a millimeter-wavelength radio telescope at Kitt Peak, Arizona.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

 

(in Russian, Green Bank Radio Astronomy Observatory), a scientific research institution in Green Bank, W. Va., founded in the 1950’s. Its principal instruments are an 85-ft radio telescope with a parabolic antenna on an azimuthal mounting (installed in 1959), a 140-ft radio telescope on an equatorial mounting (1962), and a 300-ft radio telescope on a meridional mounting (movement is only in the plane of the meridian; early 1960’s). The National Radio Astronomy Observatory conducts research on discrete radio sources, including the study of their fine structure; on the gaseous components of star systems, especially our galaxy (neutral and ionized hydrogen); and other topics. The observatory has a small staff of permanent scientific personnel and is run by a board of trustees consisting of representatives of nine American universities. Astronomers from other American and foreign observatories also work at the observatory.

REFERENCES

Teleskopy. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from English.)
Smith, F. G. Radio Astronomy. Baltimore, Md., 1961.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
* Dave Finley of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory says that future generations will call today the "Golden Era of Astronomy." Why might this be?
"The era of gravitational wave astronomy is upon us," says astronomer Scott Ransom of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Va., who is not involved with LIGO.
Amy Reines, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), said that the little galaxies hold the clues to the origin of the first 'seeds' of supermassive black holes in the early universe.
The infant star surrounded by a swirling disk of dust and gas is more than 450 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory reported Wednesday.
"It looks as if the black holes came first," said Dr Chris Carilli, from the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory. "The evidence is piling up."
Using radiotelescopes--instruments that pick up invisible electromagnetic energy waves emitted by some stars--astronomers at PennSylvania State University and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Socorro, New Mexico, detected disturbances around a distant pulsar.
To determine which process is at work, we need to go still farther back in time - to more distant galaxies -and make similar measurements of their magnetic fields," she added in a (https://public.nrao.edu/news/vla-reveals-magnetic-field/) news release by National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
"This is the first use of ALMA to make such a measurement for a spiral or barred spiral galaxy," said Kartik Sheth, an astronomer with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Va., and co-author on the paper.
When it does, it could deliver extragalactic material, said Jay Lockman of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Lockman and colleagues used the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to compare the Smith Cloud with others near the galaxy and seven massive clouds that sit between the Andromeda and Triangulum galaxies.
Joan Wrobel (National Radio Astronomy Observatory) and colleagues took a second look at the system, using data they had collected over a few years from the Very Long Baseline Array.

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