Radio Astronomy Telescope

Before Jansky observed the Milky Way in the 1930s, physicists speculated that radio waves could be observed from astronomical sources. In the 1860s, James Clerk Maxwell’s equations had shown that electromagnetic radiation is associated with electricity and magnetism, and could exist at any wavelength. Several attempts were made to detect radio emission from the Sun including an experiment by German astrophysicists Johannes Wilsing and Julius Scheiner in 1896 and a centimeter wave radiation apparatus set up by Oliver Lodge between 1897 and 1900. These attempts were unable to detect any emission due to technical limitations of the instruments. The discovery of the radio reflecting ionosphere in 1902, led physicists to conclude that the layer would bounce any astronomical radio transmission back into space, making them undetectable.