Reber's radio telescope recordings, 1943

Reber's radio telescope recordings, 1943

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Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Reber's radio telescope recordings, made in 1943. Grote Reber (1911-2002), US radio astronomer, was born in Illinois. He studied radio engineering in the 1930s and, inspired by Jansky's articles about extraterrestrial 'noise', tried to get a job at an astronomical observatory studying cosmic radio waves. He was, however, unsuccessful due to the Great Depression and instead built the world's first radio telescope in his back yard in 1937. With improvements over the next few years he was able to confirm Jansky's discovery, make a radio-frequency sky map and uncover a mystery of low-energy radio signal, which was only explained by synchrotron radiation in the 1950s.

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