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Holmdel in Monmouth County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Karl Jansky Radio Astronomy Monument
 
Karl Jansky Radio Astronomy Monument Marker Photo, Click for full size
By R. C., March 21, 2009
1. Karl Jansky Radio Astronomy Monument Marker
 
Inscription. At this location in 1931, Karl Jansky, a Bell Laboratories physicist and radio researcher, recorded for the first time radio signals from beyond the Earth. The source of these signals—radio noise at a wavelength of 14.6 meters—was the center of our Milky Way Galaxy.

This sculpture commemorates Jansky's discovery, first announced in 1933, which gave birth to the science of radio astronomy. The sculpture is oriented as Jansky's antenna was at 7:10 p.m. on September 16, 1932, at a moment of maximum signal. As his directional antenna rotated, the center of our galaxy came into view in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius, low on the southern horizon.

Radio Astronomy pioneer Karl Jansky died in 1950, years before the scientific community realized the significance of his discovery. In 1973, the International Astronomical Union gave his name to the international unit of radio flux density. Jansky's work led to a number of breakthroughs in astronomy: the discovery of quasars, pulsars, radio galaxies, and, near this site in 1964, the Nobel Prize-winning discovery by Bell Laboratories scientists of the cosmic microwave background which has revolutionized our understanding of the origin of the universe.
 
Erected by Bell Laboratories.
 
Location.
 
Karl Jansky and his 100-foot long rotating directional antenna in 1932 Photo, Click for full size
By R. C.
2. Karl Jansky and his 100-foot long rotating directional antenna in 1932
This plaque was probably put up in the late 1970s or early '80s. It is in the open and not protected. The sun has severely damaged the sign.
 
40° 21.9′ N, 74° 9.8′ W. Marker is in Holmdel, New Jersey, in Monmouth County. Click for map. The marker and sculpture are located far behind the giant transistor shaped water tower behind what was once a reflection pond on the abandoned Bell Labs facility. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 Crawfords Corner Road, Holmdel NJ 07733, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, as the crow flies. Radio Astronomy (approx. half a mile away); Fairview Cemetery Veterans Monument (approx. 3.9 miles away); British Retreat Route (approx. 4.5 miles away); Red Bank War Memorial (approx. 5.2 miles away); Roll of Honor (approx. 5.3 miles away); Civil War Spanish War World War Memorial (approx. 5.3 miles away); Montrose School House (c. 1812) (approx. 5.3 miles away); Chapel Hill (approx. 5.4 miles away).
 
More about this marker. The picture on the marker is of, "Karl Jansky and his 100-foot-long rotating directional antenna, from a photograph taken in 1932."

Two other markers commemorating famous events or discoveries on Bell Lab sites have dissapeared. This marker was erected by a private company that no longer exists and is not being maintained. It will likely no longer exist in a few years.
 
Karl Jansky Radio Astronomy Monument Marker Photo, Click for full size
By R. C.
3. Karl Jansky Radio Astronomy Monument Marker
 
 
Monument described by the plaque Photo, Click for full size
By R. C.
4. Monument described by the plaque
 
 
Radio Astronomy plaque near roadway Photo, Click for full size
By R. C.
5. Radio Astronomy plaque near roadway
This is the only sign to alert visitors of the existance of the historic site within the former Bell Laboratories compound. "Near this site in 1932, Bell Labs scientist Karl Jansky first discovered radio waves coming from outer space, thus beginning the science of radio astronomy."
 
 
Transistor Water Tower Photo, Click for full size
By R. C.
6. Transistor Water Tower
This huge transistor-shaped water tower is near the monument.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on March 23, 2009, by R. C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,926 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 23, 2009, by R. C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey.   5, 6. submitted on March 24, 2009, by R. C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
 
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