There is an interesting astrophysical observatory in Karachay-Cherkessia that owns the world’s largest radio telescope RATAN-600 (“600” – means the diameter – 600 meters), and the largest in Eurasia reflecting telescope with the main mirror whose diameter is equal to six meters. We thought it could be a nice idea to visit this place.
In Russian “RATAN” means “a radioaastronomical telescope of the Academy of Sciences”. It was put into operation in July, 1974 and is still functioning.
There is a “Pillar of Peace” nearby once set by the UN, such pillars can be seen in more than 120 countries of the world today.
Antenna of the radio telescope consists of metal shileds which form its huge diameter of 600 meters. It resembles a circular stadium or an amphitheater.
This three-storey structure serves to climb the height and maintain the shields.
Looking inside the circle through the entry portal. The circle is divided into four sectors (cardinal points) and has four independent monitoring stations.
Every aluminium shield is eleven meters high, there are almost 900 of them in general.
All together or each separately these shields may change an angle of inclination reflecting radiation of space sources which falls into the center of the telescope.
In the centre are feed elements which collect radiation sent by the shields. A feed transmits the received energy to the entry of the radiometer and gets finally registered by the electrical measuring instrument. Thus RATAN-600 allows to watch the sun, stars, nebulae, galaxies, comets and other celestial bodies.
There are several feeds which move on the rails.
Another object of the observatory is a big altazimuth telescope. It was being the world largest since 1975 to 1993. The height of its dome is almost 60 meters. Next to it is a crane for maintenance.