[Aerial Photo of Big Ear]
[Radio Observatory]
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Big Ear Tour Brochure
(including map)

[This brochure, written in the early-to-mid 1990s, was handed out to visitors to the Big Ear radio telescope during Open Houses. It was at a time when the Big Ear radio telescope was operated by a group of volunteers under our organization called NAAPO (the North American AstroPhysical Observatory). NAAPO was formed to create a consortium of universities and volunteers dedicated to support and maintain the Big Ear. In 1998, the Big Ear was destroyed by land developers. The NAAPO group of volunteers moved to the West Campus of the Ohio State University and began work on constructing an Argus-type radio telescope (discussions about the Argus concept and its implementation had begun several years prior to this move).]

Welcome to the
Ohio State University Radio Observatory

Big Ear Logo

OSU Radio Telescope

The Ohio State University radio telescope covers an area of nearly 4 acres, which makes it one of the largest in the United States. The original telescope was designed to provide the largest possible size per dollar invested, producing an instrument that is well suited for deep space search, discovery and mapping.

Recent enhancements allow the feed horns to move along a track, making it possible for the computerized telescope to continue listening to an unusual source for over two hours.

The telescope was constructed and built in the late 1950's and early 1960's and has cataloged thousands of radio sources in the most extensive, reliable and complete survey of its time. From 1974 to the present the radio telescope has been conducting the longest running Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program in the world.

In 1992 the radio telescope began another sky survey searching the 1.4 to 1.7 gigahertz band for signals of extraterrestrial technological origin. When an interesting signal is detected the search program will be suspended and the feed horns will be moved to "track" the source. The search program is fully computerized and is continuous.

Donations Accepted

The scientific research and investigation at the radio observatory is sponsored by grants and public donations. Checks should be written to "NAAPO/Otterbein" (North American AstroPhysical Observatory). Tax deductible donations may be mailed to:

    The Ohio State University Radio Observatory
    2015 Neil Avenue
    805 Dreese Laboratory
    Columbus, Ohio 43210
Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed to continue the research at the radio observatory. Meetings are held the first and third Saturdays, 10:00 am, at the radio telescope. Volunteers need no previous experience or expertise, training will be provided.

If you wish to assist with the scientific investigation being conducted at the OSU Radio Observatory please send your name, address, and telephone number to:

    Dr. Philip E. Barnhart
    NAAPO Coordinator
    Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
    Otterbein College
    Westerville, OH 43081
    (614) 823-1516

[Note that the addresses for donations and volunteers stated above no longer apply. The proper addresses are found elsewhere within other parts of the Feedback section of this website. Alternatively, you may send an e-mail to the webmaster by clicking the "E-mail Webmaster" link below.]

Open House Tour Map of Big Ear

[The following image is a reproduction of the tour map contained within the brochure. Click on it to obtain a larger image.]

Big Ear Tour Map

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Copyright © 2005 - 2007 Big Ear Radio Observatory and North American AstroPhysical Observatory.
Last modified: September 22, 2007.