The BBC article Archaeopteryx: The day the fossil feathers flew has nothing to do with Astronomy but it shows a file photo of the famous astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle with a model of what looks like some kind of telescope.

I don't know if the "dish" is supposed to be fixed metal to reflect radio waves, or a rotating dish of mercury to reflect light, but I'm guessing the former is more likely. It looks like an off-axis, tilted secondary mirror reflects radiation back to ground level, but it's just a model so I can't be sure.

Are there any ideas what real instrument (if any) or at least what design that this fixed-"dish" model might be a model of?

What's scary is that at the bottom right it looks like a building several stories tall, which means that the telescope is huge, and the size of Sir Hoyle is on par with Godzilla. The time frame seems right for that too! ;-)

Sir Fred Hoyle with model of some kind of telescope

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    $\begingroup$ All I can think of looking at this photo is "Quatermass". :-) $\endgroup$ – StephenG Dec 4 '18 at 6:03

The photo looks like it could be from the late 1950s/early 1960s. Jodrell Bank's Lovell telescope had been commissioned and people were looking for the next big thing in radio astronomy.

That next big thing was the fixed Arecibo dish, with a diameter of 305m, commissioned in 1963.

It is clear though that the picture is not a (very accurate) model of Arecibo and the location is wrong. I would guess instead that this picture purports to be the design for a radio telescope on the Moon or is an upscaled model of the Dover Heights "sandpit" telescope (see below) built in the 1950s in Australia.

Dover Heights sandpit telescope


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