Medicina telescope

The 32-m dish of the Medicina radio observatory (operated by the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics), built in 1983, operates in the range 1.4 – 26.5 GHz. It is employed for both interferometric and single-dish observations. In the former case it works with other antennas, located in different European or worldwide countries taking part to the “EVN (European Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network) Consortium. The main goal of the consortium is to obtain high resolution data in order to analyse fine details of the radio sources.
Another application of interferometric observations is in the Geodesy field. The VLBI techniques are able to measure the distances among the involved antennas with an accuracy of a few millimetres. This allows the study of the crustal plates movements with unparalleled precision.

The Northern Cross was conceived in order to receive radio waves with a central frequency of 408 MHz (73.5 cm in wavelength) with a 2.5-MHz bandwidth.

geographic longitude: 11° 38′ 49″
geographic latitude: 44° 31′ 15″
altitude above sea level: 28 m
diameter telescope: 32 m
 minimum elevation:  5°
diameter telescope (Northern Cross): 600 (EW) x 34 (NS) meter
 minimum elevation:  15°
 Note:  the Northern Cross is a transit instrument and has an azimuth range of +/-3° only

Available observing mode: single dish, local interferometry, Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI).

Frequencies used currently:

Frequency band Observing mode
400 – 416 MHz single dish
1350 – 1450 MHz single dish, VLBI
1595 – 1795 MHz single dish, VLBI
2200 – 2360 MHz single dish
4300 – 5800 MHz single dish, VLBI
5900 – 7100 MHz single dish, VLBI
8180 – 8980 MHz single dish, VLBI
13.5 – 18 GHz under construction, planned for 2018
18.0 – 26.5 GHz single dish, VLBI

Research programs:

VLBI: astronomy and geodesy, pulsar research and pulsar searches, at 22 GHz observations of H2O masers, molecular spectroscopy, receiver development.

Single-dish: spectrometry of water and methanol maser sources, sky surveys, flux variability of compact extragalactic sources, polarimetric observations of Galactic regions, planetary studies.