EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES / AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES / AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Grote Reber and first radio telescope. Reber (1911-2002), US radio astronomer, was born in Wheaton, 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 (seen here). 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. Photographed in 1960 at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in West Virginia, US.
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