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Telescopes from the Ground Up
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Reber's Radio Telescope (1937)
Diagram showing the radio wave path in Reber's radio telescope. An image of the actual telescope is embedded in the diagram.

Grote Reber built the world’s first radio reflector in his back yard, in Wheaton, Ill. The parabolic dish collected incoming radio waves and focused them at the receiver, mounted at the focal point of the dish. The receiver amplified the weak signals that it received. This is the basic design of most radio telescopes today.

Although Reber’s telescope is no longer used, it is now on display in Green Bank, W.Va.

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