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Effelsberg 100-m radio telescope

Since its inauguration in 1972, the Effelsberg 100-m radio telescope is still, to the present day, one of the world's largest fully steerable telescopes. It operates at wavelengths from about 9 mm to 90 cm. The telescope is operated by the Max Planck Institut für Radioastronomie in Bonn, Germany.

The Effelsberg 100-m telescope illuminated at night.

The particular strengths of single radio telescopes as enormous in size as this one (what you see in the photo are 3200 tons of fully steerable steel that can track a source on the sky with an accuracy of order 10 arcsec) lie in the amount of radiation that they can collect in a short amount of time. This makes large investigations, such as all-sky surveys, possible. The Effelsberg 100-m telescope was involved in several such surveys, including the one, to name just one example, at 408 MHz (73 cm) by Haslam et al. (1981, 1982; Astron. and Astrophys.).

Their size also makes big single dishes extremely valuable contributors to timing studies, such as pulsar investigations, where one wants to collect data with very high time resolution (and thus needs enormous dishes to receive a sufficient amount of photons to make sensible statements about the sources' behaviour over such short time periods).

Similarly, the largest single dish telescopes around the world are important contributors to so-called "Very long baseline interferometry (VLBI)" observations, in which telescopes all over the globe are linked together to mimic a huge dish spanning almost the size of the Earth.