KARL JANSKY'S STATIC FROM SPACE
In 1928, just a year after graduating from the University of Wisconsin, radio engineer Karl jansky (1905-50) accepted a job with Bell Telephone Laboratories.
One of his first assignments was to track down the source of static that interfered with radio reception and ship-to-shore communications.
Although much of the static could be attributed to storms, aircraft, or local electrical equipment, Jansky detected a fainter type of background static that appeared to rise and set with the Sun. As he continued to track the radio noise with his directional radio aerial system, he noted that the noise moved ahead of the Sun by about four minutes each day.
Realizing that this is the same amount that.the stars gain on the Sun each day, Janksy reasoned that the source of the static lay beyond the Solar System. By 1932, he had determined that its source lay in , the constellation Sagittafius, toward the center of the Milky Way.
Although Jansky did not pursue the science of celestial static any further, his discovery marked the birth of radio astronomy, which by the 1970s, had taken its place-alongside optical astronomy as a highly effective means of studying the universe.