I’ve always liked that view from a distance as you come up the highway. With the scope in the sun, it is quite striking. Was this your first visit to GB?
This was our first visit. We have driven by it before but this time we planned to stop. Very impressive and an enjoyable place. We spent three or four hours there. The lighting was quite variable…had to wait several minutes for the sun to illuminate the dish.
Did you venture back to the big dish on the bus trip? I had read their web site and brought my antique film camera along for that part of the trip. When I was there in 2000 for the class I took, we used the old diesel Checker cabs for driving between the dorm and the small scope we were using. Those cars are all that is allowed inside the observing areas. No spark plugs or magnetos to create interference. They have a couple of engineers who are responsible for tracking down anomalous signals of terrestrial origin. My favorite was the farmer down the road who had a heating pad in his dog’s house that was kicking on and off and sending out a noisy signal.
Yep. We took the bus back to the big dish. They told us the same stories…diesel engines, dog blankets, microwave ovens, etc. The latest problems are wireless routers. I got rid of all of my film cameras last year. I left all of my digital gear turned off in the car. Then found out that digital cameras were ok outside of the closed perimeter so Leah and I walked down to the observation platform after the tour to take some photographs.
When we were there in 2000, the GBT was not yet finished. Robin and I visited in 2009 and it had been operational for some time. The new VC was also quite nice. A friend and I were there in the late 80’s shortly after the old 300′ scope collapsed (about 6 months) but all the twisted metal was still in a pile.
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