MIT Haystack Observatory

MIT Haystack Observatory MIT Haystack Observatory www.haystack.mit.edu
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haystack.mit.edu

Hello friends far and near, and especially near: we have an update on the generators at the Westford Radio Telescope. Th...
05/11/2020

Hello friends far and near, and especially near: we have an update on the generators at the Westford Radio Telescope.

The Westford facilities crew, including site manager Mike Poirier, worked tirelessly (and at 6-foot spacing!) (and on weekends!) to first measure the noise in surrounding areas, install a test setup, re-measure local noise, then order materials and install a longer-term solution to reduce the level of generator sound.

The photo here shows the not-yet-complete state of the noise mitigation solution—it has already proven effective and has been receiving good reviews.

Thanks again to all around us for your help and patience! The crews will be focused on restoring the main electrical power from here on out.

Glad to once again enjoy some peace and quiet! 😄

Nice job to everyone who worked on this fix—thank you!

Dear friends and neighbors,We strive to be the best possible neighbors. However, a few weeks ago, we had a major power f...
05/01/2020

Dear friends and neighbors,

We strive to be the best possible neighbors. However, a few weeks ago, we had a major power failure on our campus, which meant that some of our most essential facilities were at risk. Since then, the generators required to keep this equipment safe have been creating enough sound that our nearest neighbors have been able to hear it from their properties. We want to apologize to our neighbors, and let you know that we're working on both short- and long-term measures to prevent this noise from disturbing your peace.

Emergency diesel generators are currently supplying the power to the Westford Radio Telescope, which is one of the large radio antennas on our site. The Westford telescope is used for geodesy, which is the science of measuring the Earth. The observations made by this telescope are foundational to accurate navigation systems and monitoring sea-level rise, among other applications.

In early April, the power line to this site suffered a major failure. The telescope is protected by a large, inflatable cover called a "radome" that must be pressurized to prevent it from collapsing onto and damaging the telescope, so generators are necessary. The power was briefly restored last week, but another failure occurred and repairs will continue—as a top priority of ours—for another couple of weeks.

We are currently working on a short-term fix for the generator noise, and will also put into place a longer-term noise mitigation solution for any future situations like this.

Once again, please accept our apology for this inconvenience. We are working on this as quickly as possible, both noise abatement and power repair, and it is a main focus of our attention.

Thank you all for the support and patience—we appreciate our wonderful community and look forward to enjoying some peace and quiet with you all.

Thanks,
MIT Haystack Observatory

Hello everyone. Our director has issued this statement on our policies in response to the current COVID-19/coronavirus e...
03/26/2020

Hello everyone. Our director has issued this statement on our policies in response to the current COVID-19/coronavirus emergency situation.

We hope you are all safe, and well, and able to stay home to help slow the spread of this virus.

Our work continues, from our homes! We'll continue to post updates here as well. Best wishes to all!

We are working, but remotely! The Haystack campus is currently closed to the public. Please stay safe, and by this we me...
03/16/2020

We are working, but remotely! The Haystack campus is currently closed to the public. Please stay safe, and by this we mean practicing social distancing and washing your hands.

Useful information to convince people of the importance of these measures:

https://www.haystack.mit.edu/edu/COVID-19.html

"Everything we do before a pandemic will seem alarmist. Everything we do after a pandemic will seem inadequate. This is the dilemma we face, but it should not stop us from doing what we can to prepare."

—Michael O. Leavitt, former Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services

Teachers in Massachusetts: interested in summer employment? Look no further: our paid program for STEM teachers, RET, is...
03/10/2020

Teachers in Massachusetts: interested in summer employment? Look no further: our paid program for STEM teachers, RET, is now accepting applications:

https://www.haystack.mit.edu/edu/ret/index.html

In 2020, teachers will explore the life and times of our closest stellar neighbor—the Sun. Teachers will work with MIT scientists on topics such as the birth and death of Sun-like stars, space weather, and the role of the host star on habitability of planets, and how radio observations are made in each of these areas.

Please share with any STEM teachers within driving distance! Educators: please send questions to [email protected], and also please post in your departments.

Congratulations to Haystack's own Kazu Akiyama (also National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) Jansky Fellow) on recei...
03/02/2020
Kazunori Akiyama receives 2020 Young Astronomer Award

Congratulations to Haystack's own Kazu Akiyama (also
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) Jansky Fellow) on receiving this prestigious award: the 2020 Young Astronomer Award from the Astronomical Society of Japan! It is very well deserved: see the MIT News article for more on how Kazu helped bring us the first image ever of a black hole.

http://news.mit.edu/2020/kazunori-akiyama-receives-young-astronomer-award-0302

Awards program annually recognizes three early-career scientists under 35 who have made outstanding contributions to astronomy.

Our 2019 undergraduate interns tied for second place in the #AMS2020 conference student poster competition for Space Wea...
01/21/2020

Our 2019 undergraduate interns tied for second place in the #AMS2020 conference student poster competition for Space Weather!

Congratulations to Samantha Carlson and Cole Tamburri on this honor from the American Meteorological Society!

Free lectures via MIT IAP on radio science: http://w1mx.mit.edu/iap/2020/! The next lecture is on "Radio Noises From the...
01/14/2020

Free lectures via MIT IAP on radio science: http://w1mx.mit.edu/iap/2020/! The next lecture is on "Radio Noises From the Sky," from our colleague Jim Labelle of Dartmouth College. (Courtesy MIT Radio Society and Daniel Sheen.)

Special mention of this series' upcoming talk by Haystack's Alan Rogers on groundbreaking EDGES first stars research (http://news.mit.edu/2018/astronomers-detect-earliest-evidence-yet-hydrogen-universe-0228).

See the excellent video explaining EDGES from the National Science Foundation (NSF) at https://youtu.be/wU6KXoO0NEE!

Haystack REU applications are now being accepted at https://bit.ly/2RvcAtJ! Paid summer internships for undergraduates i...
01/14/2020

Haystack REU applications are now being accepted at https://bit.ly/2RvcAtJ! Paid summer internships for undergraduates interested in hands-on STEM research in 2020: a great opportunity. #reu #NSFfunded

We welcome all applicants. Projects include atmospheric electron measurements, polar vortex effects, small radio telescopes, auroral cubesat studies, Arctic ice science, study of distant galaxies, and yes, IMAGING BLACK HOLES!

New space weather study in Remote Sensing from Haystack's Olusegun Jonah et al., "Understanding Inter-Hemispheric Travel...
01/09/2020

New space weather study in Remote Sensing from Haystack's Olusegun Jonah et al., "Understanding Inter-Hemispheric Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances and Their Mechanisms," now available via Open Access:

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/12/2/228

Congratulations to the authors on this publication!

Many excellent Haystack presentations at AGU 2019 yesterday, including talks by Phil Erickson and Anthea Coster, plus po...
12/11/2019

Many excellent Haystack presentations at AGU 2019 yesterday, including talks by Phil Erickson and Anthea Coster, plus posters by Olusegun Jonah and Dhiman Mondal—a full day of science!

Many Haystack scientists presenting at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco this week. A c...
12/10/2019

Many Haystack scientists presenting at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco this week. A couple of highlights among many were presentations by geospace scientist Larisa Goncharenko—on the effect of Antarctic sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) on the ionosphere—and our REU undergraduate summer intern Cole Tamburri, who presented a new empirical model for ionospheric total electron content. More to come, per http://bit.ly/2YgY1Lv!

So many great American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2019 #AGU19 #space physics, geospace, and geodesy presentations by...
12/04/2019

So many great American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2019 #AGU19 #space physics, geospace, and geodesy presentations by MIT Haystack scientists that they need their own program:

https://bit.ly/2YgY1Lv

See some of you there!

MIT Haystack Observatory REU applications are now being accepted at https://bit.ly/2RvcAtJ! Through this National Scienc...
12/04/2019

MIT Haystack Observatory REU applications are now being accepted at https://bit.ly/2RvcAtJ!

Through this National Science Foundation (NSF) program, we offer paid summer internships for undergraduates interested in hands-on STEM research in 2020—it's a great opportunity. #reu #NSFfunded We welcome all applicants!

Along with the epic sunset in our area Friday evening, there were some equally epic views of lower atmospheric waves ove...
11/25/2019

Along with the epic sunset in our area Friday evening, there were some equally epic views of lower atmospheric waves over the hill! #weather (Photo credit Phil Erickson)

EDGES-3 has completed prototype testing in remote, beautiful Oregon! Few witnesses apart from the neighboring cattle. Fo...
10/30/2019

EDGES-3 has completed prototype testing in remote, beautiful Oregon! Few witnesses apart from the neighboring cattle. For more on the EDGES #radio detection and what we can learn about formation of the first stars and the Big Bang, see http://news.mit.edu/2018/astronomers-detect-earliest-evidence-yet-hydrogen-universe-0228 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) News. National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded #cosmology FTW!

The 2019 Radio Science symposium is Nov. 1: the registration deadline is extended to Oct. 25! Register here to present/a...
10/16/2019

The 2019 Radio Science symposium is Nov. 1: the registration deadline is extended to Oct. 25!

Register here to present/attend (lunch is included):

https://haystack.mit.edu/hay/registration.html

Invited speakers: Catherine C. Espaillat (Boston University Department of Astronomy), Robert Guthermuth (UMass Amherst Astronomy Department), and Glen Petitpas (Center for Astrophysics l Harvard & Smithsonian), plus Event Horizon Telescope black hole imaging talks.

If you're at all interested in the night sky, or astronomy, or any kind of science, please read this and take action! Th...
10/15/2019
MIT Wallace Astrophysical Observatory

If you're at all interested in the night sky, or astronomy, or any kind of science, please read this and take action! This is very important.

Observatory manager, Tim Brothers, has a new Letter to the Editor published in the The Boston Globe regarding light pollution and the pending legislation to tackle the issue. Please consider contacting your local legislators and help preserve our night sky in Massachusetts.

That's us! MIT Haystack Observatory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is where the Event Horizon Telescope,...
10/04/2019
NASA’s Space Geodesy Project Mapping Out a Bright Future

That's us! MIT Haystack Observatory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is where the Event Horizon Telescope, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration's innovative Space Geodesy Project with our colleagues at NASA Goddard all overlap.

At the center of the Venn diagram? It's scientific technology called #VLBI: very long baseline interferometry!

If you're new to the magic of VLBI and its many applications, here's a really great introduction to our work:

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2019/nasa-s-space-geodesy-project-mapping-out-a-bright-future

By investing in smaller, faster radio telescopes, more automation and access to multiple tools, the Next Generation Space Geodesy Project will make maps, charts, flight paths and orbits more precise than ever before.

Congratulations to the many Haystack recipients of the Breakthrough Prize in Physics, which was awarded yesterday to the...
09/06/2019

Congratulations to the many Haystack recipients of the Breakthrough Prize in Physics, which was awarded yesterday to the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration as a whole: https://breakthroughprize.org/News/54

This announcement is also featured as a lead story on the MIT News page today: http://news.mit.edu/2019/breakthrough-prize-physics-event-horizon-0906

and the Boston Globe: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/09/05/team-that-captured-stunning-first-picture-black-hole-wins-million-breakthrough-prize/q3uFd1EnD0Tj7qFi2UXfaO/story.html

And elsewhere. The official press release describes it as the Oscars of Science!

MIT Haystack Observatory's cover photo
08/20/2019

MIT Haystack Observatory's cover photo

Our summer 2019 interns did an amazing job on their final presentations—and the weeks of research all summer! We loved w...
08/19/2019

Our summer 2019 interns did an amazing job on their final presentations—and the weeks of research all summer! We loved working with you all and look forward to hearing about your careers in research. Congratulations! #REU #NSF

Haystack geospace scientist Ryan Volz was recently awarded an NSF DASI grant to build a #meteor radar network in Colorad...
08/07/2019

Haystack geospace scientist Ryan Volz was recently awarded an NSF DASI grant to build a #meteor radar network in Colorado (with the CU-Boulder)!

This new network will make high-resolution wind measurements over the Rocky Mts of the hard-to-observe upper atmosphere.

Updates to follow! #geospace #science

08/02/2019

Congratulations to the DiFX collaboration team, including Haystack's Roger Cappallo and Geoff Crew, on the receipt of the Astronomical Society of Australia (ASA) 2019 Peter McGregor Prize for exceptional achievement in astronomical instrumentation! #vlbi

Congratulations to our Haystack geodesy team, which has recently successfully completed a major milestone in the VGOS si...
07/08/2019

Congratulations to our Haystack geodesy team, which has recently successfully completed a major milestone in the VGOS signal chain build, the Pre-Shipping Review (PSR), for the new @NASA #VLBI antenna at @mcdonaldobs in Texas!

The first installation team is currently en route: for updates, see the build blog at https://www.haystack.mit.edu/geo/updates.html!

Haystack's Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Group is pleased to host Alexander Valdez Portocarrero, a research engineer...
06/26/2019

Haystack's Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Group is pleased to host Alexander Valdez Portocarrero, a research engineer at the Radio Observatorio de Jicamarca - IGP in the Lima, Perú area. Alex, in this photograph with AGS lead and Haystack assistant director Phil Erickson, is visiting Haystack for 4 weeks and will be working with our group to conduct joint engineering work, targeting improved abilities to measure neutral winds in the upper atmosphere through observing trails from meteoric dust entering our atmosphere.

Joint technical exchanges between the large observing facilities at Haystack/Millstone Hill and Jicamarca are a very productive way to accelerate understanding of our planet's environment.

Welcome, Alexander!

Visiting Haystack this week is Ramesh Bhat from Curtin University in Australia (and former Haystack postdoc)! All in att...
06/25/2019

Visiting Haystack this week is Ramesh Bhat from Curtin University in Australia (and former Haystack postdoc)! All in attendance (and it was a full house) enjoyed his talk on low-frequency pulsar astronomy with the MWA. #pulsar #science

Weather forecasting and science goes far beyond the troposphere!A number of MIT Haystack scientists are in New Mexico fo...
06/21/2019

Weather forecasting and science goes far beyond the troposphere!

A number of MIT Haystack scientists are in New Mexico for #CEDAR 2019 (https://bit.ly/2KtXS3m).

Coupling, Energetics, and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions (CEDAR) is an important program sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to understand changes in the earth's atmosphere over short and long time scales. #spaceweather!

We aren't sure that our intern Katherine Cariglia can call herself an amateur programmer at this point: she's an expert,...
05/08/2019

We aren't sure that our intern Katherine Cariglia can call herself an amateur programmer at this point: she's an expert, as demonstrated in a recent informative lecture! #STEM #python

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Comments

Hope you ‘weathered’ the storm ok! Our family spent several hours with our quads and chain saws trying to help clear the trails.. in 5 hours we only made it from the trail head at the White House to just before the sand pit.. it is pretty bad out there.. this picture isn’t even the worst of it 😞
The Haystack Radio Telescope was completed in 1964 as a microwave communications experiment for the US military under Project West Ford. It was built to bounce microwaves off of 480,000,000 copper needles deployed into mid-earth orbit by MIT Lincoln Labs under Project Needles in 1958. Both England and Russia were protesting this. Can you talk about what the results of this experiment were, who you were trying to communicate with, and how MIT Haystack went from being part of a military communications experiment to being an observatory. Thanks.
Is there an open house this year?
Can anyone tell me what this antenna array is used for? It's on Millstone Rd., right next to the Amateur Telescope Makers clubhouse.
Greetings from the Astronomical Society Urania in Wiesbaden, Germany. We have just earlier this week hosted a public lecture on Saturn's moon Enceladus and on this occasion introduced a companion volume to the book market that is also made available in English. This book is already the fourth volume of our student-level series of lectures and publications on icy worlds of the outer solar system: Members of our society are producing them in their spare time because we cannot find such books on our local or the international market. We believe that self-publication is a great new way to communicate the aims of astronomical societies to the public and inspire the interest of our audience when they can put the companions of some of our lectures on their book-shelves. A free look inside is available here: Enceladus - Iceland of Space: The Cassini spacecraft over the moon of chilly geysers To the Voyager spacecraft, Enceladus seemed like a fresh, smooth snowball. It was Cassini that first noticed how remarkable this small Saturn moon is indeed whose… amazon.com
Greetings from the Astronomical Society Urania in Wiesbaden, Germany. We have just earlier this week hosted a public lecture on Saturn's moon Enceladus and on this occasion introduced a companion volume to the book market that is also made available in English. This book is already the fourth volume of our student-level series of lectures and publications on icy worlds of the outer solar system: Members of our society are producing them in their spare time because we cannot find such books on our local or the international market. We believe that self-publication is a great new way to communicate the aims of astronomical societies to the public and inspire the interest of our audience when they can put the companions of some of our lectures on their book-shelves. A free look inside is available here: Enceladus - Iceland of Space: The Cassini spacecraft over the moon of chilly geysers To the Voyager spacecraft, Enceladus seemed like a fresh, smooth snowball. It was Cassini that first noticed how remarkable this small Saturn moon is indeed whose… amazon.com
Greetings from the Astronomical Society Urania in Wiesbaden, Germany. We have just earlier this week hosted a public lecture on Saturn's moon Enceladus and on this occasion introduced a companion volume to the book market that is also made available in English. This book is already the fourth volume of our student-level series of lectures and publications on icy worlds of the outer solar system: Members of our society are producing them in their spare time because we cannot find such books on our local or the international market. We believe that self-publication is a great new way to communicate the aims of astronomical societies to the public and inspire the interest of our audience when they can put the companions of some of our lectures on their book-shelves. A free look inside is available here: Enceladus - Iceland of Space: The Cassini spacecraft over the moon of chilly geysers To the Voyager spacecraft, Enceladus seemed like a fresh, smooth snowball. It was Cassini that first noticed how remarkable this small Saturn moon is indeed whose… amazon.com