We had an easy day today. First we went to a local viewpoint to have lunch and then took a roundabout way to the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory.
Munson Mountain is a small extinct volcano just north of downtown. It is not very high and you can drive up most of the way. There is a short walk to the top and then some benches for our lunch.
On the city side of the “mountain” is a giant PENTICTON sign.
Up at the top we could most of our bike trip from yesterday.
Heading back down a bit, to the benches, for lunch.
There are so many big homes. This one had a small vineyard around it.
This guy went with chickens.
At first we couldn’t figure out what this place was. It looked a bit too fancy for a home but we think it is a place for cremated remains. I think it is called a Columbarium.
I had read in someone else’s blog that there was a nice drive up in the hills following Green Lake and then White Lake Roads, just south of Penticton. As a bonus it went right by the telescopes that I want to see.
On the way we passed this farm that liked old rusty things.
And then a place with some freshly shaved alpacas.
The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory has a set of large dishes that are investigating the universe in the radio spectrum. In order to reduce interference from cell towers and TV signals it is located in a wide, deep valley surrounded by mountains on all sides. As soon as you enter the valley you are supposed to turn off anything that is a radio transmitter, mainly cellphones.
You have to park your car by the road and then walk a short distance into the facility. On the weekends there are guided tours. On weekdays you can do a self guided tour and just walk around.
There are several installations here.
One is a 600 m long, east west, line of of seven 9 meter diameter radio telescopes.
They are all linked together so they act like one big dish. They have a resolving power (the smallest distance that they can tell two objects apart) of a huge 600 m dish but the strength of the signal they receive is only the smaller total area of the 7 dishes. So they can look at tiny things but have to look longer than a single big dish.
Some of the dishes are on rails and can be moved.
The end ones are fixed. I am not sure of the reason to move the middle ones.
Another experiment was call CHINE to measure the location of hydrogen in the universe and to track its location to watch the universe expand. If you are really interested here is the info board.
There was a raptor of some kind guarding the facility from a nest on top of what looked like an antenna.
Strangely, there was also a herd of cattle roaming the property. They were fenced off from the dishes.
They also have two 1.5 m dishes that are have been monitoring the radio output of the sun for 60 years, first near Ottawa and now here.
The second dish of the solar monitor and some unused older dishes on display.
But the star of the show for me is the massive 26 m wide main dish.
They had some whispering dishes setup to show you how parabolas work. There is a small visitor’s center (just over Jennie’s head) with some displays about the equipment and the universe in general.
I tried to do a vertical panorama, when I was standing close to it, but it just made the base look huge and shrunk the dish.
Very cool. I stood and just stared up at it for a while.
And then back to the car and home.
We went into town to a BBQ place because Jennie wanted some ribs but they were not very good.
We also had to do our first gas fillup back in Canada. $1.45 a liter for regular. Yikes! I am not looking forward to filling the motorhome.