|CORY (Image: Blackrock Castle Observatory)|
Rebecca Cantwell from Regina Mundi in Douglas, Cork came up with the winning name: C.O.R.Y., which stands for "Computer Operated Radio Yoke".
BCO said in a statement that the name "shows not only Rebecca’s Cork wit but also her knowledge of astronomy and science".
Rebecca joined NASA astronaut Greg Johnson in activating and lighting up CORY last night when it officially began receiving visual and audio signals from space - making it the largest radio dish available for educational purposes in Europe!
The 32 metre dish is based at the National Space Centre, at Elfordstown Earthstation near Midleton in Co. Cork and was originally constructed in 1984 to carry transatlantic telephone calls from Europe to the US. It was retired from this function in the mid 90's when underground cables were laid.
Now, in a partnership between the National Space Centre and Cork Institute of Technology, the dish is being refurbished to act as a state-of-the-art educational and research tool.
|Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD with CORY (Image: Blackrock Castle Observatory)|
It will excite students in schools who will get to listen in on the radio signals from outer space; it will be a testbed for engineering and science projects from primary through to PhD; it will be available to researchers from across Ireland and beyond; it will be an iconic structure only minutes from the famous Jameson Distillery, which we hope in the future to open to tourists and public alike.”
Phase 1 of the project to refurbish the telescope is now complete and next year it is hoped to see the further refurbishment of the dish allowing it to turn and slew as it originally did, along with the installation of new sensors and receivers.
The dish is capable of detecting a host of cosmic phenomena including:
the emission of giant slow moving hydrogen clouds
the violent explosions of stars
eruptions of the solar surface
storms on Jupiter
enormous galaxy-scale jets of quasars
Science Week, which continues until next Sunday.