Grote Reber
(1911)

 

US radio engineer who pioneered radio astronomy. He attempted to map all the extraterrestrial sources of radio emission that could be traced.
Reber was born in Wheaton, Illinois, and studied at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He built his own apparatus for studying cosmic radio waves, and held posts at several US institutions. From 1954 he worked mainly in Australia at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Tasmania, though he spent 1957-61 at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Back, West Virginia.
Reber's first instrument was a bowl-shaped reflector 9 m/30 ft in diameter, with an antenna at its focus, built in the back garden of his Illinois home in 1957. For a number of years, Reber's was probably the only radio telescope in existence. With it, he could identify only a general direction from which radio waves were coming. The most intense radiation he recorded emanated from the direction of Sagittarius, near the centre of the Galaxy.
In Hawaii a new radio telescope was constructed, sensitive to lower frequencies, and he worked there 1951-54. His last project, in Tasmania, was to complete a map of radio sources emitting waves around 144 m/473 ft in length.

 


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