|Big Ear Memorial Website
This website is administered by NAAPO - the North American Astrophysical Observatory
|Introduction: What Is BigEar?
|Welcome to the original website of the former Ohio State University Radio Observatory (OSURO), also known as Big Ear. The Observatory was a Kraus-type radio telescope, named for Dr. John D. Kraus, the founder and director of the observatory, who was also the designer and builder of the telescope. Big Ear covered an area larger than three football fields. The telescope was famous for discovering some of the most distant known objects in the universe, as well as for the "Wow!" Signal and the longest-running SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) project entered into the Guinness Book of Records. This unique probe of the depths of the cosmos was located in Delaware, Ohio (about 30 miles north of Columbus).
Big Ear Structures
Comments About the Above Aerial Photograph of the Big Ear Radio Telescope
The various structures you see in the above aerial photo of Big Ear are
each described in a separate section of this website.
In late 1997, after almost 40 years of operation, the Ohio State
University Radio Observatory, with its "Big Ear" radio telescope, ceased
operation. The land on which the observatory was sitting (owned by the
Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio) was sold by them in 1983 to land
developers who later claimed their rights to develop the land. The
telescope was destroyed in early 1998. An adjacent 9-hole golf course was
expanded into 18 holes and about 400 homes were planned for construction
on the nearby land owned by those developers.
This website is meant to serve as a memorial to that unique radio telescope, to its designer and builder (the late Dr. John D. Kraus) and the many persons involved with the telescope, and to the discoveries made with that instrument.
|Radio Observatory Continuing
As was noted above, the Big Ear radio telescope was demolished by land
developers in 1998. The volunteers who had been operating Big Ear prior to
its destruction stayed together as a group following Big Ear's demise
(although with a continual evolution of some people leaving and others
joining). This continuing group has been exploring new possibilities. One of
these is the next generation radio telescope called "Argus", which has the ability to see in all
directions at once.
The group also formed an organization called "NAAPO" (North American AstroPhysical Observatory) for the purposes of developing Argus and other projects, and the raising of funds for those projects.
|Main Menu For This Big Ear Website
[Note. Some of the articles on this website were written in the present and future tenses at a time when the Big Ear was still standing and active. Since the Big Ear was destroyed in 1998, you should interpret language mentioning the present or the future of the Big Ear radio telescope in the context of historical documents and not necessarily referring to our present time.]
Design and Building of the Big Ear