Thursday, April 29, 2010

Loup Loup mystery unwound

Thursday, 29 April

Out in the middle of nowhere on my Loup Loup loop from Chelan (see previous post), not too long before the pavement ended, I rode past a complex of what looked like satellite dish thingies. They were out on a ridge maybe a half mile from the road I was on, and the sign on the gate was some made-up telecom sounding moniker. I puzzled for a while about what they might be or do, but then I rode past some other curious thing to wonder about and then the pavement ended. And then I forgot about them altogether.

This morning's Seattle Times reveals that the site houses a deep space telescope, akin to the Hubble. It's one of ten in the Very Long Baseline Array. "This system is so good that it has the ability to see fine detail equivalent to standing in New York City and reading a newspaper in Los Angeles. It peers through clouds and dust into other galaxies, into regions where planets are being formed. It has produced images that go to the very beginnings of the universe, and helped discover a black hole in the center of the Milky Way."

It seems pretty cool to me that it sits out there in our amazing resource of fruit orchards, that it takes only two technicians on site to keep it going, and that Erik Lacitis happened to write about it while it was fresh(ish) in my mind. I must try to follow up on more of the curious things I see on long rides in the boonies!

2 comments:

sixtothe20 said...

That's so cool! Bikes + Outer Space = 2 of my faves!

Melinda said...

You should send Mr. Eric a message letting him know you were just there and wondered what the heck it was. He'd like that I think. You, my dear, are a great writer.