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RATAN-600 (short for Radio Astronomical Telescope of the Academy of Sciences) is a radio telescope located near the village of Zelenchukskaya in the Caucasus Mountains, in Russia, at an altitude of 970 meters. Unlike most radio telescopes that utilizes a dish or an array of dishes to focus electromagnetic radiation on to a receiver or receivers, RATAN-600 employs a ring of adjustable reflecting panels which can be angled to direct the radiation from any point in the sky to a central conical receiver. Although the ring is only 576 meters in diameter, and there is no solid structure, the overall effect of the arrangement is that of a partially steerable antenna with the resolving power of a 600 meter diameter dish, making it the world's largest diameter individual radio telescope.

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© Amusing Planet, 2015.


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