Murchison, AUSTRALIA - Building a radio telescope is nothing like working on an optical telescope, except that both bring you to remote areas. Western Australia reminds me of the Texas hill country. I grew up in Texas and as simple as I can describe it Western Australia is like an upside down Texas. And the people they are nearly the same: they have thick accents, more land than they know what to do with, and national pride. It is hard to describe everything so here are a few pictures of what I have seen out here.
Square Kilometer Array which will be the ultimate next generation radio telescope.
Sand Goana is a type of monitor lizard common in this part of Western Australia. They are big critters with a swaggering gate and curious yet skittish attitude. This one was wandering around our site for some time. I think he was as equally curious as to what we were doing as to I was about what he was doing. The big white box is a receiver that takes input from the antennas which we were testing.
ancient wisdom still matters in this modern world because humans have a tendency to overreach; technology allows us to do many things, but what should we choose to do? The Wajarri people seem to agree that we should do astronomy as they have allowed us the use of their land for radio astronomy. Perhaps a desire to understand our place in the Universe is a shared cultural value.
In the matter of Walter Lewin, MIT goes medieval
9 hours ago in The Curious Wavefunction