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The Parkes Observatory Radio Telescope - The Dish

The Parkes Observatory Radio Telescope - The Dish

The Parkes Observatory, also known as "The Dish," is a radio telescope located in New South Wales, Australia. It was completed in 1961 and is operated by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Here are some key facts about the Dish radio telescope:

  1. Design: The Dish is a parabolic dish antenna measuring 64 meters (210 feet) in diameter. It was designed to receive radio signals from space and to track and communicate with spacecraft, such as the Apollo missions to the Moon.

  2. Achievements: The Dish has played a significant role in many important scientific discoveries and achievements. One of its most famous moments was its involvement in the Apollo 11 Moon landing mission in 1969. The Dish was responsible for relaying the television images of the first Moon walk to millions of people around the world.

  3. Research: The Dish is still used today for a wide range of scientific research, including the study of pulsars, quasars, and other astronomical phenomena. It is also used to track and communicate with spacecraft, including those sent to explore our solar system and beyond.

  4. Upgrades: The Dish has undergone several upgrades over the years to keep it at the forefront of radio astronomy. In 2018, the Dish was equipped with a new receiver system that allows it to detect fainter signals from space and to operate at higher frequencies.

  5. Visitors: The Dish is open to visitors who can take guided tours of the facility and learn about its history and scientific achievements. The visitors' center features exhibits, interactive displays, and a theater that shows a documentary about the role of the Dish in the Apollo missions. 


Visit our Space & Telescope FAQs page for more fun & interesting facts.

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