The advantage of a radio telescope is that it suffers less interference from the atmosphere and so can be ground based, as opposed to an optical telescope; which are generally found orbiting Earth in order to view the depths of space. However, radio astronomers still face ground-based interference, mainly from manmade sources. Communications, airports, train lines and even power lines can cause headaches for scientists trying to collect data.
Ideally the site would be more than quarter of a mile away from power lines, railway lines & heavy industry, not situated under flight paths or anywhere near airport radar. The perfect spot would be in a dip or natural bowl, to reduce interference from man made radio sources. If you don’t get phone signal, for once, this is useful, and you’re in the right place!
By Charlotte Harrison – Logistics Team Leader