Smiley, our 4.6m (15ft) radio telescope, is used remotely by educators and students in classrooms across the globe. The iconic “Smiley” face has greeted thousands of students from classrooms as far away as Australia. Smiley is used to introduce students to radio astronomy with research labs written to accepted science curricula standards.
The antenna is currently configured for 21 cm (1.42 GHz) neutral hydrogen. Using Smiley to collect data at this frequency, several online labs allow students to map radio sources, study the Doppler Effect, detect radio waves and even measure the rotational speed of our galaxy, the Milky Way!. This hands-on approach to learning has proven to be highly effective and popular among middle and high school students. Smiley has also been a useful tool for demonstrating remote control and interface software to college students.