Wednesday, 27 April 2011

First LOFAR sites on Google Maps

There's always been some speculation as to which LOFAR stations would appear on the Satellite-view on Google-maps first. Well, it seems that two have made the claim for first place.

DE601 Effelsberg

The Effelsberg LOFAR station is located in North Rhine-Westphalia. The facility is also home to the 100m radio telescope. In the view shown by Google-Maps, the 100m dish is in the north. Below it is the LBA of the LOFAR station (with a zig-zag path running through it). And then, there is the HBA to the south. In the Effelsberg system, the HBA is not in the regular configuration as a conventional international station.



Größere Kartenansicht




DE603 Tautenburg

Tautenburg is a municipality in Thuringia, Germany. It is home to the Karl Schwarzschild Observatory, which is home to the largest optical telescope in Germany (2m mirror). The observatory is set in beautiful forest land. In the satellite image, the LOFAR fields dominate the clearing; the HBA is on the left and the LBA is on the right. The small round building just north of the LOFAR field houses the 2m optical telescope.


Größere Kartenansicht / Enlargement


Although seeing these images on Google-Maps is just a bit of fun, it is useful to see the size of the fields in the context of surrounding structures and the general landscape. A full map showing the location of all the LOFAR stations (excl. KAIRA) is provided on the LOFAR website. Take a look over the next few months and see if you can see any other stations 'appearing' in the satellite images!


Websites

Effelsberg: http://www.mpifr.de/english/radiotelescope/
Tautenburg: http://www.tls-tautenburg.de/research/lofar/index.html
LOFAR map: http://www.astron.nl/~heald/lofarStatusMap.html

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