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Radio Astronomy

There's a lot more going on in the sky than you can see through a telescope. Radio signals arriving from space can be received and observed, with very interesting results. Classic radio astronomy dishes are parabolic steerable aerials like larger versions of satellite tv dishes, but there are many other types of radio astronomy aerials, some of which involve fields full of wires on poles like short wave aerials, etc. Radio astronomy is conducted by scientific establishments, but it's also possible to receive signals from space by means similar to Amateur Radio. Here are a few helpful radio astronomy resources around the world:

Jodrell Bank Observatory - part of the MERLIN system - operated by Manchester University - was www.jb.man.ac.uk - now www.jodrellbank.net

Arecibo Observatory - operated by Cornell University also appeared in the film "Contact"

Parkes Radio Telescope - Sydney Australia

Max Planck Observatory - Bonn, Germany - features explanatory diagrams of the working of radio telescopes

National Radio Astronomy Observatory - NRAO - USA - connected to the Very Large Array (which also appeared in "Contact").

Hart RAO - Hartebeesthoek, near Johannesburg, South Africa - was originally built by NASA as a space tracking station for the Apollo moon programme.

W1GHZ - Paul Wade - loads of useful info on parabolic antennae and feed-horns.

Radio Sky - "Radio-Sky Publishing was established to help make the fascinating world of radio astronomy accessible to a wide audience of students, teachers and amateur scientists". - not to be confused with Sky TV!

SETI League.org - (was www.setileague.org) - Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence - wealth of information and software for controlling radios.

RSGB - Radio Society of Great Britain


www.radio-astronomy.net - Art!



Radio Astronomy Telescope Project

Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA)

More links welcome! If you'd like to add something about radio-astronomy, you can write in and we'll see what can be done!