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Sun-Earth Day Presents: Ancient Observatories, Timeless Knowledge

Technology Through Time: Issue #23, Owens Valley Solar Array

Nestled in a remote valley behind the Sierra Nevadas, a pair of radio telescopes keep a watch on the sun for signs of solar flares. With radio eyes, it sees a completely different view of 'Radio Sol'.


Bishop, California, approximately 250 miles north of Los Angeles on the east side of the Sierra Nevada.
3714'02" latitude, 11816'56" longitude at 1222 meters above sea level.


The Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO) is the largest university-operated radio observatory in the world. The Owens Valley Solar Array (OVSA) is the only solar dedicated radio observatory in the US and therefore plays an important role in supplying the community with high spatial, temporal and spectral resolution microwave observations of the solar atmosphere. Currently, the array consists of two 27-m antennas together with four 2-m dishes which observe the Sun at 45 frequencies between 1 and 18 GHz.


Transient energetic phenomena ; Energy release; Plasma heating and electron acceleration; Electron transport; Formation and destabilization of large scale structures; The nature and evolution of coronal magnetic fields ; Measurement of coronal magnetic fields; Temporal evolution of coronal magnetic fields; The role of coronal currents; The storage and release of magnetic energy.



Image Gallery:

Owens Valley Solar Array

Photo Credit:

Owens Valley Solar Array Main Website

Owens Valley Solar Array Links