(From 1988 historical imagery in GE.)
The Big Ear was a radio telescope located on the grounds of the Ohio Wesleyan University's The Perkins Observatory from 1963 to 1998. It was part of The Ohio State University's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project. The design of Big Ear is known as Kraus-type, after Dr. John D. Kraus (1910-2004), and is also used at the Nançay Radio Telescope.
The Big Ear completed its first sky survey for extraterrestrial radio sources — the Ohio Sky Survey, begun in 1965 — in the early 1970s. On August 15, 1977, the Big Ear recorded its greatest success when an interesting radio signal was received from the portion of the sky that the telescope was aimed at. This event, chronicled in text books and well known in astronomical circles, is known as "The WOW!" signal, so named for the notation made by a volunteer at the site on the date of the event. No other such signal was recorded.
The Big Ear was noted in the 1995 Guinness Book of World Records as being the Radio Telescope that had worked on the SETI project for the longest period of time.
The radio telescope was disassembled in 1998 when developers purchased the site from the university, and used the land to expand a nearby golf course.
Category: Scientific - Astronomy