The mysteries of space—the dawn of the universe, how stars and nebulas and galaxies evolve, what else might be out there—have always been at the forefront of the human imagination. Since we began looking to the heavens for answers, civilizations have mapped the stars, and eventually crafted ever-more-sophisticated devices to extend our reach.
Optical telescopes, and the amazing images they can generate, get a lot of attention, but amazing things are always happening beyond the limits of our sight, in the radio frequency part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Now, in places all over the world—usually remote to get away from the interference of modern life—specialized devices track and interpret the faint radio signals that come from deep space.
As technology advances, so do our desires to peer beyond what our eyes can see, or even what the imagination can conjure. And if we ever find evidence of advanced life beyond our solar system, it’s likely to come from a place like these. Here are nine of our favorite places exploring the far ends of the universe.