National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory Deep Space Network — Institute of Technology Pasadena, California National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory Deep Space Network — California Institute of Technology Pasadena, California

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Revealing the Mysteries of Our For and its spectrum is particularly affected by the molecule’s (NASA) built the Deep Space Network (DSN) of antennas more than 30 years, the Deep Space Network has played a surrounding magnetic field. Magnetic forces are a signifi­ to communicate with spacecraft exploring the solar sys­ significant role in radio astronomy studies of our solar sys­ cant factor in the collapse of stellar material into stardom. tem. Dividing the circumference of into approximate tem, adding to our under­ thirds, NASA placed the DSN antennas in three locations: standing of the magnetic Larger radio antennas produce more detailed images. By Goldstone, California; Madrid, Spain; and Canberra, fields and atmospheres of combining the outputs from several arrayed Australia. Thus, as Earth rotates, a distant spacecraft is planets. For example, since over a large area, we can produce an image with as much always “visible” from at least one site. Each of the three 1972 radio detail as we would get from one enormous , large DSN complexes includes several antennas varying from have used the DSN to enough to cover the entire area. DSN radio telescopes 11 to 70 meters in diameter. When they are not commu­ observe , with its participate in worldwide teams using this technique, which nicating with spacecraft, the DSN antennas are used for intense and dynamic mag­ is called very long baseline (VLBI). radio astronomy. netosphere. DSN astrono­ mers use high-performance Finding Cosmic Clues Outside Our Very mas­ sive go out in a blaze of glory called a supernova. By More Than the Eye Can See Like our eyes, optical tele­ spectrometers to separate studying supernovae, we can learn much about how stars scopes detect visible light, but visible light is just one part radio into are born, evolve, and die. The highly sensitive 70-meter of the . Different , or The 70-meter at millions of channels, DSN antennas have contributed to VLBI studies of extraga­ frequencies, of visible light appear to us as different colors. Goldstone, California. allowing them to analyze lactic supernovae that are very distant, weak sources of When the is too high, the radiation is no longer the materials in comets, planetary atmospheres, and radio emissions. Studies of supernovae in other visible: We cannot see light, x-rays, or gamma- clouds of gas or dust in space. The DSN can also respond have led to some radical shifts in our understanding of the rays. Similarly, when the frequency is too low, we cannot to observe unforeseen astronomical events such as the expansion and ultimate fate of the universe. see , millimeter, or radio . Just as some appearance of comets Hyakutake and Hale–Bopp. objects are better seen in one color than another, observa­ The high sensitivity, key locations, and special instru­ tions of astronomical objects at frequencies invisible to Studying Evolution in Our Galaxy The Deep mentation of the radio telescopes of the Deep Space Net­ the eye, including radio observations, may reveal new and Space Network’s large 70-meter antennas in California work make them priceless tools in our quest to understand different information. and Australia have been used to study how stars are born the universe — as it exists today as revealed in studies of in clouds of gas and dust called nebulae. Radio astrono­ our own solar system, as it was billions of years ago as mers are able to study the deep interior of a nebula be­ revealed by energy finally arriving at Earth from the far cause radio waves pass through the dust clouds that block reaches of the cosmos, and as it will be in the far distant 0.001 µm m 0.0001 µ 10 µm 1 µm 0.1 µm 0.01 µm 100 mm 10 mm 1 mm 100 µm 1 km 100 m 10 m 1 m 100 km 10 km visible light, much like a cloudy day on Earth. The radio future, as we try to piece together the cosmological clues waves discern the structure, composition, and relative to its ever-changing nature. ages of different layers of gas within a cloud that is in the Gamma Rays UV Infrared TV/FM Radio process of becoming a “protostar,” the core of what will The Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of λ = λ become a star when it is large and dense enough to ignite. Technology manages the Deep Space Network for NASA. To learn more, check our Web sites athttp://deepspace.

Visible It is also possible to study the magnetic fields in a star- jpl..gov/dsn and http://dsnra.jpl.nasa.gov/, or write to forming gas cloud using the spectrometers of the DSN to DSN, Mail Stop 303-401, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, The electromagnetic spectrum. look for the di-carbon sulfide molecule. This molecule is 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109-8099. abundant in clouds where is beginning,

Please take a moment to evaluate this product at ehb2.gsfc.nasa. On the front — (Left) Image of a galaxy made with a radio-frequency interferometer. DSN antennas are used for radio interferometry and gov/edcats/lithograph. Your evaluation and suggestions are vital for studies of star formation in our own galaxy, the . (Right) An image of Jupiter superimposed on radio maps of the invisible to the continual improvement of NASA’s educational materials. radiation belts. Radio images: , courtesy of the National Radio Astronomy and Associated Universities, Inc. Thank you.

JPL 400-873 12/99 LG-1999-12-007-JPL