Daily Image

Click here or on the picture for a full size image.

Sunny Future

Submitter: Hiddo Hanenburg
Description: The fog that envelopes our loyal old Dwingeloo telescope in this evocative picture is a metaphore at various levels. On the one hand, it symbolizes the thick soup of ignorance and conjecture through which the intrepid scientist has to grope her way towards a transitory truth. But it also represents the mist that mercifully shrouds the future of mice and men (and telescopes).

And then there is the bright blob on the upper right. It could be either the Moon or the Sun, struggling to get through. But its diameter of half a degree also happens to be the size of the spatial resolution element of the 25m Dwingeloo telescope, when observing at a wavelength of 21cm (1400 MHz). It is the size of the smallest detail it can "see". For a sharper view one has to use a larger telescope, from the WSRT (3 km) to LOFAR (100-1000 km) to VLBI (10.000 km). Nevertheless, because of its much greater spectral resolution, the Dwingeloo telescope has done momentous work: from the first map of the arms of our own Galaxy, to detailed polarization studies, to the discovery of the hitherto invisible nearby galaxies Dwingeloo 1,2,3,4, to the widely used Dwingeloo-Leiden survey of our galaxy @21cm, which dominates our entrance hall.

After a period in the pasture, the venerable instrument has been adopted into the loving care of the VERON, a group of radio enthousiasts who have got it moving again, and are planning to use it for various outreach programs. We are confident that there is a sunny future behind the fog for our old telescope.
Copyright: RaYmond v.d. Brink
  Follow us on Twitter
Please feel free to submit an image using the Submit page.