Bracewell Observatory Association
up the World of
Volunteer Team Signups To Date: 65
Press Releases and News Stories
An Open Letter to John Hennessy, President, Stanford University
(As published in the Palo Alto Daily News, August 26th, 2005)
here to sign the rescue petition!
Help Us Rescue the Stanford Dishes to open up Radio Astronomy to Stanford Students and Community!
The imminent demolition of five 60-foot dish antennas built by Professor Ronald Bracewell at Stanford has been scheduled for August, 2005 by the Dean of the School of Engineering. Our effort to rescue the observatory is continuing.
Click here for the latest update!
We propose to save, restore, and operate this site to achieve the following goals:
of Engineering agreed, based on our initial
proposal, to allow us until June 30th, 2005 to submit a final plan,
and to put enough volunteer and financial support in place to make our
We developed a collaborative proposal in conjunction with the Director of Stanford's Space, Telecommunications, and Radio Science Laboratory (STAR Lab), and the DIrector of Stanford's Space Systems Development Laboratory (SSDL), to synergistically combine Stanford academic and research use with our planned activities. We proposed to support the use of one or more of the dishes to track scientific satellites carrying Stanford-built instrumentation.
Thanks to the quick
action of our supporters, we raised the $20,000 as required by the School
of Engineering to stop the originally planned demolition in September,
2004, and defer it until at least June, 2005. In the event the final plan
is not accepted, the funds would cover the added cost of completing the
demolition work at a later date. Should the final proposal be accepted,
these funds will be available through STAR Lab in support of the site.
|View of One of the Five 60 Foot Dish Antennas|
|The Stanford Radio Astronomy Observatory (also known as "Heliopolis"), located at Stanford Field Site 515, is where 11 years of daily microwave sun maps were produced and where a radio telescope, in the form of a compound interferometer, first achieved the angular resolution of the human eye (one arcminute).|
If you are interested
in helping with this rescue effort, please contact:
Friends of the Bracewell Observatory Association
Please include information about your background, interests, what areas you would like to help with (publicity, fundraising, dish mechanical restoration, feeds, receivers, building restoration, historical document preservation and scanning, mentoring, you name it, etc.), your location, and your contact information.
Detailed technical information about the radio telescope system (in the form of "Glint Notes") is here. Rescue volunteer Chris Ridder is actively scanning in more Glint notes, and is maintaining a growing archive at http://www.cridder.com/bracewell (thank you Chris!).
Additional photos and documents regarding
the site are here,
The Friends of the Bracewell Observatory
Association is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization supported by Stanford
alumni, members of the Society of Amateur
Radio Astronomers (SARA), the Society
for Amateur Scientists (SAS), the SETI
League, and other interested parties. If you or your organization would
like to join in this effort, please contact