Stanford dish update…

Stanford dish update…

Antenna Bush
Antenna Abovearray03
Antenna Abovearray04
Here’s the latest on “Help save the Stanford dish antennas for citizen science”

To all Bracewell Observatory rescue supporters,

I just received word that in spite of our best efforts, and in spite of an expected August 4th State hearing to rule on its historical status, Stanford began demolition of the five 60 foot dishes of the Bracewell Observatory today. A copy of Stanford’s press announcement is [here].

Why Stanford has been so determined to demolish the observatory, for no compelling reason, remains an enigma.

We’re not giving up the ship!

We will continue to pursue our goal of opening up the world of radio astronomy to students and the community.

General Dynamics here in Mountain View (about 15 minutes south of the Bracewell Observatory) is about to decommission a 45 foot dish (see photo at ) which they said they would be willing to make available at no charge for educational use. As you can see from the photo, this dish could be converted into an exciting public radio telescope, and provide access for amateur projects of all kinds, ranging from SETI to AMSAT.

We will also continue our effort to preserve and present the history and scientific contributions made by Professor Bracewell and his colleagues at the Bracewell Observatory.

I would like to express my gratitude to all of you, including our many enthusiastic supporters among Stanford faculty, students, and alumni, our 71 dedicated volunteers, local residents, members of the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers, the SETI League, the Society for Amateur Scientists, and people around the world who made every effort to save the Observatory. You are to be commended.

I will update you as I know more.

Best wishes as always,


Bob Lash, M.D.
Friends of the Bracewell Observatory Association

8 thoughts on “Stanford dish update…

  1. JoeyBob says:

    That sucks.
    I used to live a few miles from that area, and it is a great place for walks and bike rides. The dishes only added to the scenery.

  2. paulrothrock says:

    Since they’re getting rid of them anyway, perhaps some makers out on the West Coast could pick them up and build a homebrew radio telescope…

  3. Blitz-ner says:

    I doubt that the dishes would be available for sale. Assuming the same people responsible for decomissioning them in the first place are in charge of taking things apart, they will likely just smash them into tiny pieces and then salt the Earth so that nothing will ever grow there. What a shame.

  4. Zev says:

    for no compelling reason

    When this was first posted on Make, a fellow named wirehead_arts commented that he lives near the land in question and that it is probably worth a lot of money. That is no doubt the compelling reason, even if the supporters of this project disagree with it.

    Of course wirehead_arts also acted like a jerk in making his comments (we don’t all live within driving distance, dude), but that doesn’t make him wrong.

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