Five radio telescopes in Australia and a sixth in South Africa were synchronously operated for the first time as a single radio telescope from April 20 through May 3. The high-resolution capabilities of the telescope system were used to investigate the structure of the nucleus of Centaurus A, the nearest giant radio galaxy. About 30 quasars and galaxies were studied in the two weeks of arraying of the telescopes, according to information from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
The project to operate the telescopes as a single instrument—called very long baseline interferometry (VLB I)—was jointly directed by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and JPL. David L. Jauncey of CSIRO and Robert A. Preston of JPL are the principal investigators of the experiment.