For my second report, something a little different, which I am certain has not been on this forum ever... MRAO, or the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory to give it it's full title.

I cannot emphasise strongly enough that this was an authorized visit with the full blessing and generous assistance of MRAO personnel to whom I am eternally thankful for providing a unique and memorable experience I shall always cherish. I could never condone any opportunistic access to this site - it is very much live, with critically precise ongoing research taking place with one-of-a-kind [irreplaceable] equipment. If you are interested in MRAO, please respect the location and put in the groundwork instead - MRAO are not unsympathetic to people with a genuine interest in visiting. My guide was supremely knowledgeable, engaging and had gone to a lot of effort to make my visit photographically rewarding after discussing what I was after - even opening up one particular building that noone had set foot in for 17yrs!

The history of MRAO is far too complex to do justice here in any condensed form, BUT it became world famous when a very young scientist by the name of Jocelyn Bell caught the attention of the entire astronomical community with her discovery of 'Pulsars' or pulsating stars in 1967.

So, onto the pictures, the weather was incredibly variable when I visited. Ranging from heavy cloud, dull flat grey, to brilliant sunshine all in a day. Well, it was May -

A shot along three dishes of eight dishes from the Ryle Array -

The central dish of the One Mile Array [two fixed dishes and one moveable along a half mile rail track using a small diesel engine fixed into it's gantry] -

A close up of the mission clock from the superbly retro-futuristic One Mile Control Room -

The One Mile main console in all it's glory. My thanks to MRAO staff for their time and patience while I got this 'just so'. Apparently BBC4 were just as finnicky when they photographed it too! -

A close up of the one of the 4C Array control panels, unseen for 17yrs -

Finally, two differently treated shots from inside, yes INSIDE!!!, the A.M.I. Array - MRAO's most powerful & far reaching piece of kit. It was like walking into the set of a minimalist science fiction fillum - all light blasted and severe. Truly the icing on an utterly superb cake of a visit. -

... intentionally exposed for a stark view of the underside of the dishes.

...bracketed and HDR'd to rein back in all the sky.

I really hope you like this one. A truly mind-blowing & privileged explore. I still can't get over my first view, walking into the heart of the A.M.I or coming face to face with the One Mile Console.