The 100m Radio Telescope on Display in Heidelberg

A 1:100 scale model of the Effelsberg dish for the "Haus der Astronomie"

May 07, 2014

The Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) has provided a new 1:100 scale model of the Effelsberg radio telescope to be donated to the "Haus der Astronomie" (HdA) at the Königstuhl site near Heidelberg. On Tuesday, April 29, it was officially inaugurated at HdA with a talk by Prof. Michael Kramer, entitled "Der Weiße Riese in der Eifel" and the subsequent unveiling of the telescope model.

As part of the ceremony,  the panel "Andromeda Galaxy M31" was presented as an outstation of the Effelsberg Milky Way Trail at a distance of 250 km between HdA and the Effelsberg site, corresponding to the true distance of 2.5 million light years to that galaxy.

The model was constructed by "team6" in Wesseling, the same company who had previously built the telescope model placed in the MPIfR foyer in Bonn. There are four models of the Effelsberg telescope in that size (1 m diameter). Besides the two already mentioned, both sites of the "Deutsches Museum", in Munich and in Bonn, are displaying 1:100 scale models of the Effelsberg telescope.

Fig. 1 shows the telescope in the workshop in March 2014 – with some final work, e.g. surface panels, still to be completed. The model was delivered to Heidelberg in early April. The official inauguration ceremony took place on Tuesday, April 29, at the HdA (Fig. 2).

It started with a short introduction about the complementing second part of the exhibit, an information panel for the virtual station no. 19 of the Effelsberg Milky Way walk (see Fig. 3). That panel connects the original 100m radio telescope near Bad Münstereifel-Effelsberg with the 1:100 scale model at HdA. In the 1:1017 scale of the Milky Way walk (40,000 light years through the Milky Way on a distance of 4 km), the Andromeda galaxy M31 would be 250 km away, corresponding to its real distance of 2.5 million light years. The information panel no. 19 will be mounted at the entrance of the HdA.

In his review talk about the Effelsberg telescope, Prof. Michael Kramer, director at MPIfR,  presented the successful history of the telescope over more than 40 years including latest results like the magnetar in the Galactic centre region and an outlook in the future of the telescope. More than 90 participants were attending the talk (Fig. 4).

The telescope model was unveiled in the following ceremony (Fig. 5). It is presented in the foyer of the HdA (Fig. 6), highlighting an exhibition with a number of other telescopes in the optical and infrared regime of the electromagnetic spectrum. 




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