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Nobeyama Radio Observatory

Nobeyama Radio Observatory

One afternoon, while I was driving around in Nagano, I noticed a huge parabolic antenna lost in the middle of the mountains. I changed my route immediately to get closer to it. Then more antennas appeared. What a surprising place! I am not alone. Many people are coming back from a visit and the entrance is closing. That’s fine, I’d rather visit during the night 🙂

chubu, japan, japanese, nagano
Nobeyama Radio Observatory

A few hours later, past midnight. There is no one and the sky is full of shooting stars. I walk in.

chubu, japan, japanese, nagano
Nobeyama Radio Observatory

I feel so little here and the full-moon is the spotlight of a scene in which I am really tiny. Walking around those giants is quite intimidating and I know everything is active around me, eerily quiet. I am in love with the Nobeyama Radio Observatory.

chubu, japan, japanese, nagano
Nobeyama Radio Observatory

I get to the huge radio detector I spotted earlier when I was driving. It is actually a 45m radio-telescope, not used to listen to the extraterrestrials’ rock stars but to analyze the short-millimeter wavelengths. This way, the professors working here can map the structure of our universe and detect such things as black holes.

chubu, japan, japanese, nagano
Nobeyama Radio Observatory

I feel like I am in a scene from X-Files or Contact. Every once in a while, my heart jumps: there is a sudden buzz and clicks then everything starts to move. I realize all those giants are mounted on rails! It’s really odd to see them moving around.

chubu, japan, japanese, nagano
Nobeyama Radio Observatory

This part…

chubu, japan, japanese, nagano
Nobeyama Radio Observatory

The six big parabolic antennas at the entrance are the Nobeyama Millimeter Array (NMA). With them you can build high spatial resolution images.

chubu, japan, japanese, nagano
Nobeyama Radio Observatory

There is more to see in this observatory such as the Nobeyama Radioheliograph (which is an array of 84 very little parabolic antennas) and Radio Polarimeters.

chubu, japan, japanese, nagano
Nobeyama Radio Observatory
chubu, japan, japanese, nagano
Nobeyama Radio Observatory

I really recommend visit Nobeyama if you are between Matsumoto (Nagano) and Kofu (Yamanashi) area. The open time is from 8:30am to 5:00pm and it’s free! 🙂

  • Andrew M

    I really like the second one with the meteor in the image.
    I take it the one image with the bright sphere in the sky was the moon? Didn’t think you could get many stars in a photo with the moon out. Exposure shots?
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Yes, exactly, that’s the moon 🙂 It’s only one exposure but I could get the stars. My only problem was the milky way 🙁

      • Andrew M

        Darn Universe, always getting in the way of a good shot!
        Keep it up, I always enjoy your blog posts!

  • Andika Ikhsan

    http://solar.nro.nao.ac.jp/index.html

    this observatory is closed already?

    • That’s a surprising news but it’s not really closing, just different entities have control over the instruments. What I wonder is: is it still possible to visit?

  • Genna Costello Vogt

    So you had no idea this was here and just saw the antennas and followed them? That’s amazing! I wish something like that would happen to me! There is nothing cool around here!

    • Exactly, I didn’t knew about this place before! Actually you might be surprised, there are cool things everywhere, just waiting to be found 🙂

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Who Am I

azalea, drone, flower, japan, japanese, kyushu, natural, nature, saga, spring

I am Jordy Meow, I am a French photographer living in Japan. My interest is to discover and share information about offbeat and lesser known locations for foreigners coming or living in Japan. I published books and now preparing new beautiful series of guidebooks.

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