MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Radio astronomy. Computer montage image showing a radio telescope dish against a field of stars and other radio sources. Extraterrestrial radio waves were first detected by Karl Jansky in 1931, and the first radio telescope was built by Grote Reber in the late 1930s. It was only after World War Two, however, that radio astronomy was developed into a major branch of observation. The main advances came after the development of solid-state physics and electronics used to handle the radio data. Radio telescope dishes, such as that seen here, are now often connected electronically to form interferometers with baselines of hundreds or thousands of kilometres to improve resolution.
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