Strange yet cool VLA time lapse video

By Phil Plait | January 30, 2012 10:20 am

I’m sure what I can say about this, except that it’s oddly engaging.

I’ve been to VLA*, many years ago to do a video for an educational activity, and I don’t recall seeing them behave quite this way. Maybe I should’ve waited until night time.

Tip o’ the side lobe to my pal and science nerd Jeri Ryan on Google+.


* Yes, I know the name was recently changed to the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, but I’ll be honest: I don’t like the new name. If they had just called it the Jansky Array that’d be fine. But if the old name was clunky, it had an easy acronym. Now the name is longer and the acronym harder! So to me, it’ll always be the VLA. And get off my lawn.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff
MORE ABOUT: VLA

Comments (19)

Links to this Post

  1. Is there anybody out there? | bluejay's way | January 31, 2012
  1. uudale

    Check it out at about the 2:00 mark.

    So those anomalous signals aren’t from ETs, they are caused by birds sitting (and doing other bird-like things) on the dish :-P

  2. Satan Claws
  3. DrFlimmer

    Ehm. I am still trying to figure out how I should describe this movie. Weird. And creepy. Sort of strange.

    Yes, I know the name was recently changed to the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, […] So to me, it’ll always be the VLA. And get off my lawn.

    I am so with you on this point!

  4. The name I like is ALMA: I’m still trying to figure out where those large millimetres came from.

  5. Chris S

    There is just a big white space with no link to the video. Is this only viewable from the USA. I’m in the UK

  6. Cindy

    4:

    Because large millmeters = centimeter and ACA wasn’t a good acronym. ;-)

    I’m sure you know that the Large modifies array and not millimeter in that acronym, but AMLA didn’t sound as good.

  7. Stathis Dimopoulos

    You and Jeri Ryan pals? I ENVY YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. DrFlimmer

    @ Chris S

    It’s quite visible from Germany (where normally most things are blocked). Do you lack some plug-ins in your browser?

  9. Beer Case

    Chris S: It’s clearly viewable from Norway!

  10. Ganzy

    Very good. Artistic Creativity in alliance with Science. We need more!

  11. Ganzy

    @5 ChrisS

    UK here Chris, it’s coming through loud and clear for me.

  12. Regarding the footnote, it has become fairly common around here to name things after people using their full name. I agree with the BA that this often results in clunky names nobody wants to use.

    There is a fairly new street nearby called the “Thomas J. Rhodes Industrial Drive.” And yes, they managed to fit all that on the sign.

  13. Jason Miller

    Such an iconic instrument deserves a better paint job.

  14. I like how the birds are labeled, too. Like they’re part of the instrument.

    “And here’s the polarized feed horn, and over there you can see the azimuth motors. And up there we’ve got a couple Corvus brachyrhynchoses. Couldn’t have a working radio telescope array without ‘em!”

  15. Nigel Depledge

    The BA said:

    I’ve been to VLA*, many years ago to do a video for an educational activity, and I don’t recall seeing them behave quite this way. Maybe I should’ve waited until night time.

    What is different about radio astronomy at night?

  16. The answer to the question “What is different about radio astronomy at night?” is as follows: “It be dark”.

    “oddly engaging” ? My God, this is only BRILLIANT. I saw the pair at 2:05, but when it was slipped-in earlier I shouted “HA!”, and started looking even MORE closely at the labels of WHATEVER was being labelled ! Conceptually and visually BRILLIANT. I’m going to watch it again and again and see if I can actually LEARN from this brilliant, beautiful piece.

    Thanks for posting.

  17. Dylan

    “I’ve been to VLA*, many years ago to do a video for an educational activity, and I don’t recall seeing them behave quite this way. Maybe I should’ve waited until night time.”

    I think if I visited the VLA at night while listening to Autechre on heavy psycedelic drugs this is exactly what I would be seeing.

  18. Matt B.

    Was that supposed to be “I’m not sure what I can say…”?

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