Photo 184 – #181 Mechanisms

181 Mechanisms

We took a tour of the Green Bank Telescope while we were on our trip last week.  I thought this fit the theme “mechanisms” since :

“The GBT is also unusual in that the 2,004 panels that make up its surface are mounted at their corners on actuators, little motor-driven pistons, which make it easier to adjust the surface shape.”

So, it has lots and lots of motors to make the shape of the dish!  This telescope is huge!  It’s hard to tell in the picture since there’s nothing around to compare the size.  I will post a picture tommorrow to show the size better.  What else I found cool about the tour was how the tour guide told us how the neighborhood near the telescope cannot have certain electronic devices (the only example I can remember is wireless routers).   They actually can hunt you down (and pinpoint the location of the device to the size of a quarter) and come to your house to tell you to get rid of it.  The devices mess with the telescope.  This is why there is no cell phone coverage in half of West Virginia!!  I always wondered. We  also weren’t allowed to turn on cameras when we got close to the telescope. 😦

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