Questions tagged [radio-astronomy]

Questions about observations performed in the radio frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum.

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145 views

How accurately could late 50s - early 60s humans have mapped the solar system?

What if early SETI investigations had focused on our own solar system, rather than distant stars? Given the technology that existed around the 1950s, how much surveillance would humanity be able to do?...
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How will they know when to start taking the picture of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way?

@csm's answer to Why not take a picture of a closer black hole? points out that it's necessary for the supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy to be actively feeding for it to generate a ...
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Will the first Event Horizon Telescope image of the Milky Way's black hole be just another orange donut?

@HDE226868's answer to Why doesn't the black hole in the center of the Milky Way glow similarly to the famous M87 image? explains that neither black hole is orange and any Event Horizon Telescope ...
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Is there an IRAM satellite that measures thermal radiation at 250 GHz, or was this a ground-based instrument?

The Nature Research Letter A Pluto-like radius and a high albedo for the dwarf planet Eris from an occultation (also here and here) says about half-way through: We now reassess Eris’ surface ...
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Would it have been possible to send a radio signal towards ʻOumuamua?

As we could not get any radio signals from asteroid ʻOumuamua, couldn't we have sent a powerful radio signal to it and then check if we can get any radio signal in response? This way we can at least ...
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Radio loud AGN restarting as Radio Quiet AGN?

Is it possible for a Radio-loud object (eg., an FRI galaxy) to evolve into a Radio-quiet (eg., a Seyfert) source? Also, can this happen via AGN restart? That is, have there been instances where the ...
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380 views

What does “unremarkable transverse peculiar velocity” mean exactly, and how is it calculated here?

The abstract of A magnetar parallax (also in MNRAS) contains the following: Combining our new observations with two archival observations from 2006, we have refined the proper motion and reference ...
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How often are radio telescopes used to measure parallax? When was this first done?

The abstract of A magnetar parallax (also in MNRAS) says: TE J1810-197 (J1810) was the first magnetar identified to emit radio pulses, and has been extensively studied during a radio-bright phase in ...
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How is spectroscopy used to deduce what an object is made of?

Spectroscopy is an analysis of light (or other EM wavelengths) that is often used by scientists to examine what an object is made from or contains. Apologies if this is a stupid question, but this ...
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Observed instances of massive gas inflow and AGN restart due to cluster-cluster merger?

Works such as Acreman et al. (2003) have demonstrated via simulations the possibility of gas being stripped off a galaxy due to interaction with a galaxy cluster. Have there been confirmed instances ...
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How did Jocelyn Bell Burnell discover the periodicity of CP 1919?

According to Wikipedia, in 1967, a radio signal was detected using the Interplanetary Scintillation Array of the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory in Cambridge, UK, by Jocelyn Bell Burnell. The ...
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What is meant by the notation $A^{\times{B}}_{\div{C}}$; where A,B,C are real numbers?

I have come across a few papers using the notation $A^{\times{B}}_{\div{C}}$; where A,B,C are real number. For example, $3000^{\times{3}}_{\div{4}}$. An example can be Eqn (4) in Stern & Laor (...
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Where was this photo of Nancy Grace Roman taken, what is the display shown?

Where was this photo of Nancy Grace Roman taken, what is the display shown, is there any technical information on this display and where is it now? If this is a NASA photo then there should be an ...
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Software for simulating/calculating a known EMW pulse propagating in ISM, including dispersion, scattering, etc

Could you please let me know, if there is any software/code/tool for simulating/calculating the result of a short EMW pulse (waveform is exactly known) propagating in the ISM for long distance, ...
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What is the O[III]/H$\alpha$ line ratio for Active Galactic Nuclei?

I have the H$\alpha$ line flux of an AGN and I am trying to calculate the Bolometric luminosity using it. Bolometric luminosity can be calculated from O[III] fluxes by $L_{\rm Bol} = 3500 L_{\rm O[III]...
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Do the neutrons in neutron stars emit the radio waves?

Neutrons can, especially in extreme circumstances (and large concentrations) emit electromagnetic radiation. I specifically asked about this in Physics S.E. Has a free neutron ever been shown to ...
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580 views

Why is 3GHz the best frequency at which to measure the sun's microwave output?

I have read that 3GHz is the best frequency at which to measure the sun's microwave output, but that measurements are made at 2.8GHz for historical reasons, however I can find no explanation of why ...
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What does the Sun “look like” below 100 MHz?

Radio2space.com's The Radio Sun says: At very low frequencies (below 0.1 GHz) and therefore at very long wavelengths (> 3m) the solar disk appears much bigger and brighter in the center, and its ...
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56 views

Why is the peak value(s) of the spectral radiance of the CMB different if you calculate with freq. instead of wavelength?

On Wikipedia, the calculated value of the peak frequency of the cosmic microwave background is 160.23 GHz, but it says if you do the calculating with wavelengths, then convert to frequency, you get a ...
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How far can we detect lightning in radioastronomy?

The wikipedia article on whistlers has this information: Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft detected whistler-like activity in the vicinity of Jupiter known as "Jovian Whistlers", implying the ...
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How to read light curve from .fits?

I have a .fits file (this one, in fact) containing the data of a fast radio burst, FRB110523. Is it possible to, from that, make a simpler file containing the intensity (integrated over all bands) as ...
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clarification of radio spectrum

For a radio spectrum, when is it called thermal emission, synchrotron emission, self-absorbed synchrotron emission and inverted spectrum? They are all power-law and their difference is power-law index?...
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How to determine arrival time delay given dispersion measure?

In an online textbook, the following formula is given to calculate the arrival time delay between two frequencies, $v_1, v_2$ in a dispersed radio pulse: $$t_1 - t_2 = 4.15 \cdot DM [(v_1/\text{GHz})^{...
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Why does the Fourier transform of this CMB image have a hole in it?

The BBC's Desert telescope takes aim at ageing our Universe contains the image below of the Cosmic Microwave Background from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope or ACT. It looks like this is plotted with ...
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Is there an advantage to the equatorial region of the far side of the moon for a radio telescope or would any crater on the far side work?

If nearly any crater on the far side of the moon will work, and not just equatorial craters, then we could pick craters near the possible future Artemis base at the South pole which would allow easier ...
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Were radio spectroscopic observations ever used to first measure a distance successfully?

Usually, especially for an extragalactic object, its redshift is determined by optical spectroscopic redshift. But the angular resolution of early radio observations is poor and an optical counterpart ...
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How is VLBI delay calculated?

I’m working on a research project wherein we are trying to solve a problem very similar to VLBI delay. We have two radio receivers, and we know their locations. We also know at what time one receiver ...
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Why did it take five years to “figure out” how to use astrometric calibration sources to deblur LOFAR images?

Quanta Magazine's The Hidden Magnetic Universe Begins to Come Into View is a fascinating review of a rapidly evolving field in astronomy. It contains some statements: In their paper last year, van ...
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How is the field of view of a radio telescope determined?

It’s my understanding that radio telescopes can only receive signals that hit the dish within a certain range of angles. How is that angular range determined i.e. measured and/or calculated?
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How can I correct for transit time?

I know the exact time a radio telescope detected a transient event. I also know the exact location of the telescope, and the galactic coordinates (galactic longitude, latitude) and right ascension and ...
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Have non-periodic radio signals been analyzed for shannon entropy or put on a Zipf plot?

If aliens did exist, they would probably compress their communications. And they might use a fault tolerant infrastructure like TCP/IP. In either scenario, real communications would not be periodic ...
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1answer
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In the 1950's how were radio-astrometric positions with portable dishes so precise they could be assigned to their dim optical counterparts (Quasars)?

In my question Why are quasars so far away that they couldn't be optically resolved in the 1950's? I included the following short paragraph, but then added strikethrough to the second sentence ...
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Has optical interferometry been done at radio frequency using heterodyning with a laser in a nonlinear material?

If one collects narrow band optical emission from a large telescope with frequency $f_1$ and mixes it in a nonlinear crystal with laser light of a nearby frequency $f_2$, it would produce two new ...
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1answer
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Is there a recent update on the mysterious M82 radio source reported in 2010?

The Wikipedia page on the "Cigar Galaxy" (M82) has the following summary about an "unknown object": In April 2010, radio astronomers working at the Jodrell Bank Observatory of the University of ...
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Do stars have “radio photospheres”? Are they different from their optical photospheres?

Comments below What is the maximum distance measurable with parallax? discuss challenges associated with parallax measurements of Betelgeuse and link to Wikipedia’s Betelgeuse; Distance measurements ...
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Flux density from brightness map

This is a naive question. I have a temperature map of radio emission at 1420 MHz, in Kelvin. I want to extract the flux density (in Janskys) from an extended region of this map. Is the flux density ($...
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What is the role of the mesh on which dipole elements of the MWA antennas are placed?

I was reading about the radio telescope - Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) situated in Western Australia. Antennas of this telescope are quite unique and different from the usual dish radio telescope. ...
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Options for observational astronomy [closed]

For getting into a PhD program for observational astronomy, is physics major and data science minor enough?
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What's the highest frequency that's been imaged by a radio telescope?

In this answer to Should we update definitions and remove the 100 GHz hard limits on radio astronomy related tags? I wrote the following partial answer: Yes, there are plenty of dishes that focus ...
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How significant is the effect of galactic rotation on line broadening of carbon monoxide?

In class the other day, we were discussing observations of rotational transitions of carbon monoxide, namely, the $J=1\to0$ and $J=2\to1$ lines. We originally had assumed that both lines would have ...
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Cosmic Microwave Background Map

When a satellite takes measurements of the radiation from different patches of the sky to construct a map of the thermal radiation of the universe on the surface of a sphere, it would also contain ...
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How do we know that comets definitely mase and not just fluoresce?

Wikipedia's Astrophysical_maser#; comets mentions some anecdotes of notable masers associated with comets, and Maser emissions from comets begins: The 18-cm lines of the OH radical are the only ...
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Is there work underway to push the long baseline capabilities of the Event Horizon Telescope to sub-millimeter wavelengths?

The Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy's press release Something is Lurking in the Heart of Quasar 3C 279; First Event Horizon Telescope Images of a Black-Hole Powered Jet shows a stunning ...
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Has radio astronomy ever been done on objects that appear very close to the Moon? Is this avoided?

This answer to Which kinds of astronomical observations most need to avoid the Moon being up? mentions For completeness - radio, mid-infrared and mm-wave observations are unaffected (unless the ...
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Slope of log plot of luminosity-velocity in Tulley Fisher relation

My partner and I did some computation on the Tully Fisher relation at uni. In that, the slope of the logarithm plot between the luminosity and rotational velocity, was 2.6. Now, that slope ...
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What is a “21cm/mm absorption system” in the context of measuring old photons from quasars?

This answer links to Wikipedia's Time-variation of fundamental constants which cites Further Evidence for Cosmological Evolution of the Fine Structure Constant (J. K. Webb et al. 2001), the abstract ...
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What was the field of view of the Ohio State University Radio Observatory of Wow! signal fame?

This answer to Did comets 266P/Christensen or P/2008 Y2 (Gibbs) cause the Wow! signal? points out that the comets in question were nowhere near where the radio telescope was pointed. Wikipedia says ...
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Did comets 266P/Christensen or P/2008 Y2 (Gibbs) cause the Wow! signal?

Continuing my fascination with the Wow! signal, I stumbled upon an article from 2016 titled Famous Wow! signal might have been from comets, not aliens. It describes the hypothesis that the signal ...
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How do radio astronomers avoid having their receivers burned out by ground-imaging radar from satellites?

After about 34:00 in the 9th press conference of AAS 235, radio astronomer and NRAO's spectrum manager Harvey Liszt talks about Radio Astronomy in a New Era of ...

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