Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Holmdel in Monmouth County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Karl Jansky Radio Astronomy Monument

 
 
Karl Jansky Radio Astronomy Monument Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed 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
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Click or scan to see
this page online
which has revolutionized our understanding of the origin of the universe.
 
Erected by Bell Laboratories.
 
Topics. This historical marker and monument is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationNotable EventsNotable PlacesScience & Medicine. A significant historical date for this entry is September 16, 1932.
 
Location. 40° 21.9′ N, 74° 9.8′ W. Marker is in Holmdel, New Jersey, in Monmouth County. 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. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 Crawfords Corner Road, Holmdel NJ 07733, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Radio Astronomy (approx. half a mile away); New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial (approx. 1.8 miles away); Crawford Cemetery (approx. 1.8 miles away); In honor of Eleanor Grace Alexander (approx. 1.8 miles away); Women Veterans Meditation Garden (approx. 1.8 miles away); Boy Scouts Vietnam Memorial (approx. 1.8 miles away); United States War Dogs Memorial (approx. 1.8 miles away); Purple Heart Memorial (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Holmdel.
 
More about this monument. The picture on the marker is of,
Karl Jansky Radio Astronomy Monument Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By R. C., December 14, 2016
2. Karl Jansky Radio Astronomy Monument Marker
Restored Radio Astronomy Marker
"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.
 
Additional commentary.
1.
As of July, 2016, the former Bell Labs building has been reopened for office space, retail, and hotel rooms. The new company running the property has restored the Radio Astronomy Monument and is taking good care of it.
    — Submitted December 14, 2016, by Ronald Claiborne of College Station, Texas.
 
Karl Jansky and his 100-foot long rotating directional antenna in 1932 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By R. C.
3. 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.
Karl Jansky Radio Astronomy Monument Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By R. C., December 14, 2016
4. Karl Jansky Radio Astronomy Monument Marker
Karl Jansky Radio Astronomy Monument Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By R. C.
5. Karl Jansky Radio Astronomy Monument Marker
Monument described by the plaque image. Click for full size.
Photographed By R. C.
6. Monument described by the plaque
Radio Astronomy plaque near roadway image. Click for full size.
Photographed By R. C.
7. Radio Astronomy plaque near roadway
This is the only sign to alert visitors of the existence 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 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By R. C.
8. Transistor Water Tower
This huge transistor-shaped water tower is near the monument.
Karl Jansky Radio Astronomy Monument Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By R. C., December 14, 2016
9. Karl Jansky Radio Astronomy Monument Marker
New sign added to monument location.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 1, 2022. It was originally submitted on March 23, 2009, by Ronald Claiborne of College Station, Texas. This page has been viewed 3,912 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on March 23, 2009, by Ronald Claiborne of College Station, Texas.   2. submitted on December 14, 2016, by Ronald Claiborne of College Station, Texas.   3. submitted on March 23, 2009, by Ronald Claiborne of College Station, Texas.   4. submitted on December 14, 2016, by Ronald Claiborne of College Station, Texas.   5, 6. submitted on March 23, 2009, by Ronald Claiborne of College Station, Texas.   7, 8. submitted on March 24, 2009, by Ronald Claiborne of College Station, Texas.   9. submitted on December 14, 2016, by Ronald Claiborne of College Station, Texas. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr
m=17286

CeraNet Cloud Computing sponsors the Historical Marker Database.
This website earns income from purchases you make after using our links to Amazon.com. We appreciate your support.
Paid Advertisement
Apr. 18, 2024