Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory
The Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory (MRAO) is located near Cambridge, UK and is home to a number of the largest and most advanced aperture synthesis radio telescopes in the world, including the One-Mile Telescope, 5-km Ryle Telescope, and the Arcminute Microkelvin Imager. It was founded by the University of Cambridge and is an institute of the Cambridge University Astronomy Department.
Arcminute Microkelvin Imager
Cambridge Low Frequency Synthesis Telescope
Cambridge Optical Aperture Synthesis Telescope
Interplanetary Scintillation Array
|Related media on Wikimedia Commons|
Radio interferometry started in the mid-1940s on the outskirts of Cambridge, but with funding from the Science Research Council and a corporate donation of £100,000 from Mullard Limited, a leading commercial manufacturer of thermionic valves.
The observatory was founded under Martin Ryle of the Radio-Astronomy Group of the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge and was opened by Sir Edward Victor Appleton on 25 July 1957. This group is now known as the Cavendish Astrophysics Group.
The site is located a few miles south-west of Cambridge University at Lords Bridge Station in Greater Cambridgeshire on a former ordnance storage facility, next to the now-unused Oxford-Cambridge Varsity railway line.
A portion of the track bed of the old line, running nearly East-West for several miles, was used to form the main part of the "5km" radio-telescope and the Cambridge Low Frequency Synthesis Telescope.
|Arcminute Microkelvin Imager Large Array||2007||Active|
|Arcminute Microkelvin Imager Small Array||2004||Active|
|Very Small Array (moved to Tenerife in 1999)||1998||Active|
|Cosmic Anisotropy Telescope made first high-resolution maps of Cosmic Microwave Background fluctuations||1995||Decommissioned|
|Cambridge Optical Aperture Synthesis Telescope (COAST) first aperture synthesis at optical wavelengths||1993||Operated on clear nights|
|One receiver from the e-MERLIN array||1990||Active|
|Cambridge Low Frequency Synthesis Telescope (CLFST)||1980||Decommissioned|
|Ryle Telescope (formerly 5-Kilometre Telescope)||1971||Decommissioned|
(repurposed for AMI LA in 2006)
|Interplanetary Scintillation Array discovered first pulsar||1967||Decommissioned|
|4C Array, first telescope at the Cambridge's new observatory, used to make the 4C catalogue||1958||Decommissioned|
The following photographs (except for the last 2 items) were taken in June 2014:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory.|
- The Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory webpage
- Image from Google maps showing the One-Mile, Half Mile, 4C Array, MERLIN, COAST, CAT and Ryle telescopes.
- Subterranea Britannica entry for Lords Bridge Forward Filling Depot (also Air Ammunition Park)
- Subterranea Britannica entry for Lords Bridge Station