A project of FRIENDS OF THE BRACEWELL OBSERVATORY ASSOCIATION
Help build the world's first and only "radio sundial" at the Very Large Array (VLA) in memory of Stanford Professor Ron Bracewell!
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory has begun planning for a unique sundial in memory of Stanford Professor Ronald N. Bracewell.
This will be the world’s first and only "radio sundial", and will be built at the Very Large Array (VLA) Radio Telescope Observatory on the Plains of San Augustine, Socorro, New Mexico, USA.
The Ron Bracewell Radio Sundial will be built using ten of the thirty two original six-foot tall concrete piers from Professor Bracewell’s Spectroheliograph at Stanford, upon which many pioneers in radio astronomy chiseled their signatures. The main gnomon will be constructed by VLA staff in the same shape and size of the concrete signature piers and will be finished with adobe. Visitors to the VLA will be invited to sign that pier to commemorate their visit to the Sundial and VLA.
The VLA Education and Public Outreach Office will maintain the “visitor signature pier” by photographing and displaying the photographs in the Visitor Center, once the visitor signatures have been covered with signatures. The adobe finish will then be reapplied to accommodate the next wave of signatures.
The VLA Education Officer will use the materials that Stanford has provided of Professor Bracewell’s papers, photos, and Spectroheliograph records in the NRAO Archive to create displays and curricula, to intrigue visitors and student groups to learn more about both the science and history of radio astronomy.
As this will be the world’s first and only “radio sundial” in which visitors will be able to determine the location of a number of cosmic radio sources by measuring the sun’s shadow, an outreach education program will be established whose goals are to bring the wonders of science to inspire, excite, and educate students of all ages at NRAO's Very Large Array (VLA) Site.
The NRAO is funding approximately $22,000 for the transport of the signature piers and construction of the sundial at the VLA, but an additional $26,000 is needed to de-install the piers at Stanford.
One hundred percent of the amount of your contribution will go to this project.
UPDATE: OUR $48,000 GOAL HAS BEEN HIT! THE PIERS HAVE BEEN DE-INSTALLED AT STANFORD AND SHIPPED TO THE VLA VISITOR CENTER. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
To download a PDF brochure, click here.
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The Friends of the Bracewell Observatory Association is a non-profit Delaware corporation organized for educational and scientific purposes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your gift is fully tax deductible.