Saturday, March 31, 2007

Algonquin Radio

I apologize for the poor picture quality but it was near sunset and we were quite a ways away. The speck you can see here in this picture is out in the middle of nowhere and I had first stumbled upon it on a low level flight in the 172 6 years earlier. Since then each time I have been in this area I have always tried to find it again to figure out where it is. It is the dish for the Algonquin Radio Observatory and it is a a big one at 46 meter dish. It has been here for almost 50 years, looking into deep space listening for information. It reminds me of one of my favourite movies "Contact" based on a book by Carl Sagan. In Contact the dish that they are using in the first of the movie is the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. It is massive at 305 meters and there is a picture found here on it's website. I have always been fascinated in space and when money permits I am going to buy the nicest pay cheque can afford :)

This doesn't really show much but if you were to draw an X about 20 miles off the little airplanes right wing that is where the telescope is located. The first time I flew over it I thought I had messed up my navigating and ended up in military airspace as CFB Petawawa is just to the east.

The Ottawa River just west of Petawawa, Ontario. This river has a ton of history behind it being a major transportation route for fur traders and native Indians many years ago. Here is a link for some history and video.
To bring you up to speed on the two main people in the stories, Samuel de Champlain and Etienne Brule.
It is amazing the area they covered in a year and I can just imagine the terrain and wilderness they had to deal with let alone meeting new tribes of natives wondering if you are gonna be friends or enemies :)

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