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August 28, 2007


Bob McHenry

This anecdote makes a nice companion to the story of Karl Jansky, who went looking for the sources of static in 1933 and invented radio astronomy.

A decade later, a radio astronomer had the bright idea of warning Londoners of the silent approach of supersonic V-2 missiles by listening for the whistling radio noise reflected by their ionization trails as the Vergentungswaffen transited the ionosphere.

The Sferic glitter atop gravity's rainbow was not lost on a Cornell literature student with a scientific bent by the name of Tom Pynchon.

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