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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Delaware in Delaware County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Pioneer Radio Telescope / Big Ear Radio Telescope

 
 
Pioneer Radio Telescope Marker (side A) image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 21, 2008
1. Pioneer Radio Telescope Marker (side A)
Inscription.
Pioneer Radio Telescope
One-half mile east is the site of the former BIG EAR radio telescope. Designed by Dr. John D. Kraus, pioneering radio astronomer at Ohio State University, it had a collecting area of 340 by 70 feet (104 by 21 meters). The observatory was completed in 1963. The Ohio Sky Survey recorded here between 1965 and 1972 was the most accurate, reliable, and complete mapping of cosmic radio signals (the "radio sky") for many years. BIG EAR gained fame for its ability to detect quasi-stellar radio sources, or "quasars," and for its discovery of some of the most distant objects known. This observatory conducted a 24-year continuous search for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence, during which the famous "Wow!" signal was received in 1977. BIG EAR was demolished in 1998. ["Wow!" signal graphic]

Big Ear Radio Telescope
BIG EAR consisted of a flat tiltable reflector, a fixed standing parabolic reflector, and pairs of receiving horn antennas. Radio signals were bounced off the flat reflector, focused by the parabolic reflector, and collected by the feed horns. The telescope used the rotation of the Earth to scan a narrow path across the sky once each day. The Ohio State University and the National Science Foundation funded the telescope's design and construction,
Big Ear Radio Telescope Marker (side B) image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 21, 2008
2. Big Ear Radio Telescope Marker (side B)
and it was built almost entirely with faculty and student part-time labor. From 1973 through 1997, the observatory was operated and maintained by a dedicated group of volunteer scientists with generous assistance from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and private benefactors. Successful operation of the telescope would not have been possible without the dedication of site technician Eugene (Gene) Mikesell (1931-1987).
 
Erected 2000 by Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Ohio State University Radio Observatory, North American Astrophysical Observatory, and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 1-21.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection marker series.
 
Location. 40° 14.951′ N, 83° 3.468′ W. Marker is in Delaware, Ohio, in Delaware County. Marker is at the intersection of Columbus Pike (U.S. 23) and the Delaware Golf Club entrance road, on the right when traveling north on Columbus Pike. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Delaware OH 43015, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Camp Delaware (approx. 2.5 miles away); Oak Grove Cemetery and Arboretum
Pioneer Radio Telescope / Big Ear Radio Telescope Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 21, 2008
3. Pioneer Radio Telescope / Big Ear Radio Telescope Marker
Looking north.
(approx. 2.7 miles away); Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church (approx. 3.2 miles away); Edwards Gymnasium / Home of High School Basketball Tournaments (approx. 3.2 miles away); Wesley Branch Rickey (approx. 3.2 miles away); Elliott Hall (approx. 3.3 miles away); Cherry, Judge, Luckett Memorial (approx. 3.3 miles away); University Hall and Gray Chapel (approx. 3.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Delaware.
 
Also see . . .  Big Ear Memorial Website. "The telescope was destroyed in early 1998. An adjacent 9-hole golf course was expanded into 18 holes and about 400 homes were planned for construction on the nearby land..." (Submitted on October 23, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. 20th CenturyAir & SpaceCommunicationsMan-Made FeaturesScience & Medicine
 
Photo of Big Ear Radio Telescope on Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 21, 2008
4. Photo of Big Ear Radio Telescope on Marker
Wow Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 21, 2008
5. Wow Photo on Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,705 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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