Milestones in radio astronomy


basic facts


1900 Olivier Lodge, England, Charles Nordmann, France, Thomas Edison, USA unsuccessful attempts to detect Solar Radio Emission

1931 Karl G. Jansky, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Holmdel, New Jersey, USA, antenna 30 m x 4 m, 20.5 MHz (λ = 14.6 m), Θ = 30 deg, results published in 1932, 1933 and 1935, proposal for 30m parabolic antenna as a future instrument was made.

1937 Grote Reber, Wheaton, Illinois, USA, transit parabolic reflector 9.5 m working at 3,3 GHz (λ = 9.1 cm) an attempt to detect thermal emission from the Sun at 910 MHz (λ=33 cm), 160 MHz (λ = 1,87 m), Θ = 12 deg

1939 first complete measurements of the Milky Way (Our Own Galaxy), 1940, described a radio telescope as the bolometer, maps of radio emission from the Galaxy published in 1944, together with report on earlier solar emission detection

1942 Stanley Hey, UK, detection of radio emission from the Sun (λ =4 and 8m), published in 1945 and 1946

1944 Hendrick van de Hulst, Leiden, Holland, (idea of Prof. Jan Oort) theoretically predicted radio transmission of HI at (1420 MHz, λ = 21 cm)

1946 Hey, Parson and Phillips, Malvern, UK, sky survey at 176 MHz, found strong scintillating point source in Cygnus constellation

1948 Bolton and Stanley, Sydney, Australia, built a cliff interferometer, and found position of Cyg A source and its diameter < 8’

1948 Ryle and Smith, Cambridge, UK, made two element interferometer, and derived positins of Cyg A i Cas A with higher accuracy

1948 Reber, Galaxy maps at 480 MHz (λ = 62.5 cm), proposal for 67 m fully steerable parabolic reflector.

1948 John G. Bolton, Sydney, identification of Tau A with „Crab” nebula – M1

    1. Radio Interferometers and aperture synthesis developed (Cambridge University, UK)

1951 Graham Smith, at Cambridge UK, finds position of Cyg A (< 1’), Walter Baade makes photo with Palomar 5m telescope and concludes the object as a colliding galaxies ?

1951 Ewen H.I. and Purcell E.M., Harvard University, USA, Muller and Oort, Leiden (1951), Christiansen and Hindman (1952) detect independently HI emission line at 21 cm wavelength

1954 Baade and Minkowski, Caltech, USA, publish results on identification and distance (from the spectrum) to Cyg A (200 M l.y.)

1954 Hagen and McClain, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, detection of HI absorption line

1954 First detection of solar radio emission in Poland, OA UJ, Kraków, Poland, O.Czyżewski, A.Strzałkowski and J.Demezer, 5m antenna at λ = 90 cm

1957 Commission of 76m radio telescope at Jodrell Bank, Manchester Univ. UK

1957 construction of the first radio telescope at Toruń, Poland – RT1, 30x12m parabolic cylinder with two separated sections connected as an interferometer, S.Gorgolewski, H.Grzesiak, H.Iwaniszewski, J.Manczarski, J.Groszkowski

1958 First detection of solar radio emission at Toruń, on new 12m RT-2, at 127 MHz, S.Gorgolewski, H.Grzesiak, H.Iwaniszewski, help from J.Groszkowski

1960 First use of VLBI in Canada and USA

1961 Bennett, Cambridge, published the fundamental 3CR catalogue, fluxes measured at 178 MHz

1963 Arecibo 305 m Spherical Radio Telescope starts its operation

1963 Weinreb, Barrett, Meeks and Henry, NRAO, USA, make first molecule detection (OH in absorption towards Cas A)

1963 Redshift found to 3C273 – QSO, Maarten Schmidt, Caltech

1964 Kerr F.J. and Westerhout G., provides an evidence for the spiral structure of the Galaxy based on HI distribution

1965-1967 4C survey published, Cambridge UK

1965 Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, Bell Telephone Crawford Hill Laboratory, USA, Discovery of Cosmic Microwave Background 2.7 K, theoretically predicted by Alpher, Bethe and Gamow (in 1948) – Nobel Prize in 1978

1967 Hewish A. and Bell J., Cambridge UK, discover pulsars and interpret these as fast rotating magnetized neutron stars

1968 15 radio telescope built at Astronomical Observatory, Jagiellonian University, Kraków

1969 One Mile Telescope at Cambridge commissioned, resolution Θ< 1 arcmin

1970 Ryle, Longair, Scheuer, Riley, Cambridge, explanation of AGNs, initial work on unification theory of AGNs

1971 100m radio telescope, MPIfR, Effelsberg FRG, starts operation

1972 Five Km Telescope completed, Cambridge UK, resolution Θ~2 arcsec

1974 Martin Ryle and Anthony Hewish, Nobel prize in physics for radio interferometry, aperture synthesis, radio surveys, discovery of pulsars

1975 Cohen M., Kellermann K., Caltech, USA, discovery of SLM – Super Luminal Motion in quasars

1976 Cambridge UK and NRAO USA, evidence for isotropy of radio source distribution and their strong time evolution

1979 commission of 15m parabolic radio telescope – RT3, in Piwnice (Toruń)

1979 Discovery of first gravitational lens system 0957+561, Walsh, Carswell and Weymann, Jodrell Bank, Manchester University, UK

1979 Dos Santos, NRAO, detects first H2O megamaser in NGC 4945

1981 Commission of the most successful radio telescope the VLA, NRAO, USA

1981 Poland (Toruń) joins VLBI, also first successful observations of pulsars, HI and OH molecule with RT3 were made (Kus, Borkowski, Gorgolewski)

1989 Hirabayashi, Moran et al., NRO, Japan, first evidence for presence of the BH at the centre of NGC 4258 galaxy, (megamaser H2O)

1993 Russell Hulse and Joseph Taylor, Princeton, USA, Nobel prize, relativistic effects and gravitational waves from double pulsar PSR 1913+16

1995 discovery of anisotropy of Cosmic Microwave Background – „COBE” satellite

1996 RT4, 32m radio telescope completed in Oct 1994 at Toruń starts full operation,

1997 VSOP in orbit and working

1999/2000 New projects for the 21st century: SKA, ALMA, SVLBI, OCRA