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Unidentified flying object?

Submitter: Ilse van Bemmel
Description: While the rest of the world started to enjoy the transit of Venus, a group of about 100 people gathered in the evening of June 5th for an entirely different historical event. For the first time since its construction in 1955, the 25m dish of the venerable Dwingeloo telescope was removed from its base.

The lifting of the dish was no easy task. An attempt at 2PM was aborted, as the dish turned out to be heavier than expected, and some ancient bolts proved difficult to budge. With additional cranes and counterweights, the use of heavy hammers, crow-bars and a grinder, the second attempt started at 8PM. It still took over an hour to succeed. Just after 9PM a cheer went up from crowd and workers alike when the dish was finally freed.

After a gentle flight, the dish is now parked next to the strangely naked base of the telescope. Over the next months it will be taken apart, and each part will be sanded and painted for the next phase in its extraordinarily long and eventful life.

More information can be found on the website of its present owners (www.camras.nl). Although one might say that noone ever actually owns the Dwingeloo telescope; one just takes care of it for the next generation.
Copyright: Ilse van Bemmel
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