The Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO) began operations in 1958 with the commissioning of two 90-foot radio telescopes
built by Caltech. It was originally built to study radio galaxies, but is now used to look at the sun's magnetic field. The
collection consists mostly of photographs showing the construction of various radio telescopes.
The Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO), the largest university-operated radio observatory, came to life in the late 1940s
through the influence of three individuals: Lee DuBridge, president of Caltech; Robert Bacher, chairman of the Division of
Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy; and Jesse Greenstein, professor of astrophysics. In 1954, Caltech occupied a central position
in the American radio astronomy program. John Bolton and Gordon Stanley, two respected Australian astronomers, joined the
Caltech faculty in order to undertake the construction of large dishes. In 1956 the first radio telescope, a 32-foot antenna,
was erected on Palomar Mountain. It was dismantled in 1958 and transferred to the Owens Valley site. At the same time, two
90-foot (27-meter) telescopes were completed. Ten years later, an even bigger antenna, a 130-foot (40-meter) dish was finished.
It was originally built to study radio galaxies but is now used to look at the sun's magnetic field. The last major instrument
at the observatory is the millimeter-wave array. It consists of six 34-foot (10.4-meter) dishes (also called Leighton's dishes).
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