Radio Astronomy’s Birth In Holmdel, NJ

Small Town Holmdel, NJ Preserves Horn Antenna As Historical Site Of Modern Astronomy

When we think of Astronomy, we probably imagine those colorful photos that occupy our desktop backgrounds and fancy screensavers. What we don’t imagine when we think about space, however, are radio frequencies squeezing into a trailer-sized horn in Holmdel, New Jersey. Visit this link for more information.

Can We ‘Hear’ The Cosmos?

Not with human ears. In 1932, a physicist named Karl Guthe Jansky was hired by Bell Telephone Laboratories to investigate the unknown sources of static that were being picked up by early phone lines. Jansky discovered three categories of interference. Nearby thunderstorms, distant thunderstorms and a quiet hissing that rose and fell in intensity once a day. At first, he believed this was due to the sun’s radioactivity, but after observing the tone for a few months, Jansky noticed that the loudest point wasn’t repeating every 24-hours. This meant that whatever was emitting the signal wasn’t rotating with the sun. Read about Visit A Gardener’s Paradise In Middletown, New Jersey here.

Extraterrestrial Sounds In The Milky Way

After comparing notes with celestial maps, Jansky tracked the sound’s source. It was coming from the center of our galaxy, The Milky Way, towards the constellation of Sagittarius. His finding were published in a paper entitled, “Electrical Disturbances Apparently of Extraterrestrial Origin”. He called the frequency “star noise”—and it’s potentially the sound left over by the big bang. His accidental discovery ultimately paved the way for modern methods of stargazing that are still in use today.

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