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LOFAR Radio Telescope

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posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 10:16 AM
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A huge radio telescope is currently being built across Europe, in the Netherlands (base), Sweden, France, UK, Germany and Poland.



LOFAR Official Site


7,000 antennas are spread over 44 fields in the North of the Netherlands and from Sweden to France and from the UK to the East of Germany. Glass fibres connect the antennas with a supercomputer at the University of Groningen's Computer Centre. In this way, a giant telescope is formed with a diameter of one hundred to one thousand kilometres.


Wow, that's one huge telescope. What will it be used for?


The telescope researches, among other things, the earliest Universe, cosmic particles and magnetism in the Milky Way and other galaxies. LOFAR is also used for research in the area of geophysics, precision agriculture and ICT. While the antennas observe the sky, underground sensors collect data about the structure of the Earth. These data contribute to better models for the Earth, water management and gas exploitation.


So not only will it look out to the stars to find the beginnings of the universe, but it will also be used to scan the Earth, possibly to help find fossil fuels. It will also be used to aid agriculture by detecting the spread of diseases in crops.

All the radio antennas used are low cost, but it's the sheer distance they cover which make it such a powerful tool, providing very accurate images of space. For the more technically-minded amongst you, the antennas will operate in low-band 10-90 MHz and high band 110-250 MHz.

Here's a news story about it today: BBC: Telescope 'to find' space origin
The UK part of the project has now been completed.




posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 10:20 AM
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Thats very cool. I love hearing about new telescopes even though I'll never get near one of these advanced scopes.



posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by Pixus

the antennas will operate in low-band 10-90 MHz and high band 110-250 MHz.

.


im pretty sure the 110 - 250 mhz range is used for the telecommunications of aircraft, i know for america it is but unsure about the rest of the world, and 10-90 mhz is anything from cb radio, to police radio or public works, and even some fm radio stations.

so this is an expensive large radio reciever? or will they be transmiting?



posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 11:30 AM
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reply to post by pryingopen3rdeye
 


The official site claims those frequencies will be used for astronomy, but if they're also used for communications, perhaps the the antennas could be adapted for intercepting transmissions too. I'm not very knowledgable in this area, perhaps someone can help out here?

I think you may have stumbled upon a possible conspiracy.



posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 05:48 PM
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I found this video which explains LOFAR better than I ever could.





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