This totally isn’t an opportunity to list the amazing names that scientists have given telescopes (seriously though, these are actual names for cutting-edge telescopes which involve hundreds, if not thousands of scientists in collaboration and which yield a deeper understanding of our universe).
Children, gather round. I hope you’re sitting comfortably because it’s time for another of Harvey’s storytime posts. Lean back on a deckchair and take your eyes to the skies. This week, we’re exploring the hidden wonders of the universe.
A few weeks ago, myself and Yanhao partook on a school trip to a little place called Jodrell Bank. There rests one of the world’s largest radio telescopes – the Lovell Telescope, a whopping 76.2m in diameter. Now, you may be wondering, “Why do they need a 76.2m diameter telescope to listen to Classic FM? Is the sound quality really that much better?”. The answer is yes, the sound quality is a lot better, but fortunately that’s not what scientists are using the telescope for. No, at Jodrell Bank, they’re listening out for the music of the cosmos…
Forget your troubles for a moment and look at the sky.
The night sky, I mean.
Sadly in an urban metropolis such as the one I live in there isn’t much to see at night besides the faint glow of a near Full Moon. A telescope, however, paints on the black canvas of the night sky and unlocks an entirely new world.
Last night, I quickly had a look at the weather forecast for today. It confidently reassured me that there would be a bright, sunlit morning with a 5% chance of rainy spells. Of course, I had no doubt in my mind that the forecast was telling the truth. In the morning, I awoke with a large yawn and a badly-needed stretch. As I got up to draw back the curtains and admire the sunshine, I felt a sharp chill creep up my spine. “Hmm, it’s oddly cold in here”, I thought. Throwing back the curtains in vivid anticipation, my eyes flinched at the glare. My garden was covered edge to edge in a thick layer of bright, white snow. Just as predicted, right?