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November 2009 Extra: Very large

November 2009 Extra

In this show we find out about the ongoing upgrades to the Very Large Array in New Mexico from Dr Rick Perley (US National Radio Astronomy Observatory). We put your astronomical questions to Dr Tim O'Brien, get a summary of recent news and events and round-up the feedback we've received since the last show.

If you are going to Jodcast Live we have a page of useful information.

Very Large Array

Roy interviews Dr. Rick Perley (NRAO) on the history and the expansion of the VLA. This interview follows on from several other interviews that were recorded at the European Radio Interferometry School in Oxford.

The Very Large Array consists of 27 radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration. Each antenna is 25 meters in diameter. After more than 20 years of science, people started working on an upgrade for the VLA that would make it more sensitive and accurate. Rick also talks about how he started his career at the VLA and his hobby as a meteorologist providing data to Weather Underground.

Ask an Astronomer

Tim O'Brien answers listener questions.

Odds and Ends

The Leonid Meteor Shower - debris from Comet Tempel Tuttle - is taking place just as this show comes out. See Sky and Telescope for observing tips. You can also check out the Jodrell Bank Meteor Detector and the International Meteor Organization.

Show Credits

Interview:Dr Rick Perley and Roy Smits
Ask An Astronomer:Dr Tim O'Brien
Presenters:David Ault, Megan Argo, Adam Avison, Jen Gupta and Stuart Lowe
Editors:Stuart Lowe and Roy Smits
Segment voice:Ian McDonald
Runner:Chris Tibbs
Website:Stuart Lowe
Cover art:The Very Large Array Credit: NRAO/AUI and NRAO

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