Questions tagged [radio-astronomy]

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

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9
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2answers
534 views

Would Adaptive Optics be Useful in Radio Astronomy?

This Question and Answer got me thinking. If atmospheric seeing at visible wavelengths is the result of refractive index inhomogeneity, would it also be a similar problem for mm to cm wavelengths? ...
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414 views

How does the Event Horizon Telescope implement the interferometry?

The BBC article Event Horizon Telescope ready to image black hole describes the Event Horizon Telescope, a coordinated observing technique with several radio telescope arrays across the globe forming ...
9
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431 views

Why aren't ground-based observatories using adaptive optics for visible wavelengths?

Adaptive Optics (AO) techniques allow ground based observatories to dramatically improve resolution by actively compensating for the effects of Astronomical Seeing. The atmospheric effects are quite ...
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1answer
235 views

What is the highest granularity focal-plane array on a dish radio telescope? Or is this the ONLY ONE?

There is a short Wikipedia article Focal Plane Arrays that enumerates some projects, but my question is more along the lines of what is (at least) nearly complete or in "first light" phase, even if ...
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How does ALMA produce stable, mutually coherent ~THz local oscillators for all of their dishes?

The ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array) radio telescope's band-10 capabaility is now operational, per this answer. That's confirmed by NRAO's First Science with ALMA’s Highest-...
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Is there another explanation, apart from the doppler effect, for the redshift observed in distant galaxies?

On episode 10 of the original Cosmos TV series, Carl Sagan mentions that some scientist don't agree that the redshift observed in distant galaxies is evidence of the big bang, stating that probably ...
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1answer
236 views

How did single dish (or single receiver) radio telescopes originally generate images?

That actually sums up my question nicely: How did single dish (or single receiver) radio telescopes originally generate images? - or at least 2D intensity maps or contour plots. Early radio ...
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2answers
374 views

How large does refraction become in radioastronomy?

For atmospheric refraction of visible light, Wikipedia gives the order of 1 arc minute at 45° altitude above the horizon, and 5.3 arc minutes at 10°. This is caused by the dielectric polarizability of ...
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1answer
1k views

Why the blank wedges in this very early 21 cm map of the Milky Way? (Oort et al. 1958)

Jan Oort was a pioneer in radio astronomy. Wikipedia says: It has been written that “Oort was probably the first astronomer to realize the importance” of radio astronomy. “In the days before radio ...
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1answer
316 views

Can SETI certify whether or not Proxima b is inhabited by beings using electromagnetic communication?

Can SETI certify whether or not Proxima b is inhabited by beings using electromagnetic communication? By certify I mean by past, present or future observations using technologies available.
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1answer
348 views

Math behind a uv plot in interferometry?

I've seen standard uv plots used discussions of interferometric array designs regularly, and I have a vague idea that each arc may correspond to a pair of elements within the array, and the ...
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1answer
272 views

Which techniques are used to convert radio signals received by antenna to images?

I realized that after answering the question How do astronomers convert radio signals received by their antenna to images? I had missed the point that the OP was only asking about software. I've ...
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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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Radio telescope targeting

How do you target a radio telescope on the precise object you wish to observe? You can point it in the general direction but how do you get the information from the exact point in the sky that you are ...
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1answer
605 views

Plot of best available resolution vs wavelength - radio through gamma rays?

What I'm looking for is a graphic that shows in a general way the best available telescope resolution vs wavelength throughout the entire wavelength spectrum. So for example, there might be two very ...
6
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1answer
176 views

What exactly is interplanetary scintillation; what was the Interplanetary Scintillation Array looking for? Did it successfully observe any?

The Interplanetary Scintillation Array is the radioastronomy observatory (i.e. big antenna) where the first pulsar was discovered by then graduate student Jocelyn Bell Burnell through careful and ...
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3answers
285 views

What is precipitable water vapor in millimeter-wave radioastronomy and how is it measured?

Looking through ALMA on-line documentation and articles, the quantity PWV (precipitable water vapor) is a central theme. I have two linked questions. What (actually) is precipitable water vapor, and ...
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1answer
59 views

Would “layered” radio interferometry work?

tl;dr - Is splitting up the process of interferometry as shown in the diagram possible, and if so, is it more efficient and/or easier than traditional methods? I have been doing some research into ...
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3answers
290 views

How far have individual stars been seen by radio telescopes?

Writing this answer got me thinking. As far as I understand it, stars themselves radiate most of their energy at optical wavelengths (near-IR through near-UV). Various types of stellar objects may ...
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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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1answer
53 views

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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1answer
112 views

Which 16 antenna locations were used this MeerKAT radio image?

The final configuration of the MeerKAT radio array will be 64 dishes. In the press release of July 16, 2016 a radio image is shown using a completed sub-set of 16 dishes. Which 16 are these? I can ...
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1answer
74 views

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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1answer
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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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What can be learned from low frequency radio astronomy available outside of Earth's ionosphere?

As discussions and answers to How large does refraction become in radioastronomy? point out, it is difficult to do radio astronomy much below 30 MHz (or 10 MHz depending on how aggressive you are in ...
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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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Jupiter FM - What are practical and inexpensive ways for the amateur detection of signals from Jupiter, especially of the transit of her moons?

What modifications to a standard AM/FM or shortwave radio are needed in order to be able to detect radio-wave signals emitted from Jupiter? Would it be possible to detect the transit of the major ...
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3answers
268 views

What else could the Event Horizon Telescope Observe?

The Event Horizon Telescope was made possible in order to observe the details of supermassive black holes. This took a huge amount of work installing extra telescopes and developing the hardware and ...
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1answer
295 views

Early universe's first starlight (indirectly) detected for the first time, could it have been detectable with 1970's technology?

The recent paper in Nature An absorption profile centred at 78 megahertz in the sky-averaged spectrum seems (to me at least) to be an incredibly simple and elegant experiment with far-reaching ...
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How did UV from the earliest stars 'alter the state of the 21 cm line' such that it shows up in CMB today?

In this question I discuss the recent (open access) paper in Nature An absorption profile centred at 78 megahertz in the sky-averaged spectrum at length. The abstract begins: After stars formed in ...
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1answer
652 views

Radio Astronomy and Imaging

So, I've been starting to investigate radio astronomy, and am wondering about if certain things are possible from an amateur standpoint. I was looking at this powerpoint(that discusses building a tiny ...
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Amateur radioastronomy: dish suggestions

What kind of amateur radioastronomy can any interested citized do with: a) A 2 m dish antenna. b) A 2,5 m antenna. c) A 3 m antenna. d) A 5 m antenna. e) A >5 m <10 m antenna (likely I can not ...
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How can the Event Horizon Telescope image Sgr A* when it's not visible from all sites at one time?

I went to https://eventhorizontelescope.org/array and read about the ten sites listed as part of the EHT, I have a mashed-up screen shot of them below. I made a little script also shown below with ...
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0answers
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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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1answer
56 views

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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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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How did Arecibo detect methane lakes on Titan, and image Saturn's rings?

This answer to Farthest distance to a solar system object that's been measured by radar? mentions that Saturn's rings, and the Uncover Travel post Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico – The World’s ...
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1answer
319 views

Is there a cosmic, rather than technological, upper limit to what a telescope can resolve?

Space radio interferometers could have a baseline of millions of kilometers, but is there a point where a larger baseline doesn't improve the resolution anymore because the photons observed are ...
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738 views

Why does the author believe that the central mass that gas cloud HCN-0.009-0.044 orbits is smaller than our solar system?

Phys.org's Hiding black hole found says: A research team led by Shunya Takekawa at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan noticed HCN-0.009-0.044, a gas cloud moving strangely near the center ...
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723 views

Why does the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) not include telescopes from Africa, Asia or Australia?

The Event Horizon Telescope seems to include these radio telescopes currently: Image by European Southern Observatory (ESO)/O. Furtak; CC-BY 4.0-licensed, see the source on Wikipedia Commons and the ...
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426 views

Why are the ALMA receivers' ADCs only 3-bits?

above: Table 1 from Performance Highlights of the ALMA Correlators The ALMA receivers use 3-bit ADCs for what would seem to be to be a high dynamic range application needing much finer quantization ...
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2answers
619 views

What can we expect from the first accurate image of a black hole?

From recent news from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy: The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded 14 Million Euros to a team of European astrophysicists to construct the first ...
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705 views

Why does radio astronomy offer higher resolution images than optical?

According to this lecture,"Radio astronomy has several advantages over optical astronomy...We can make the highest resolution images, and see things happening on the smallest scales." Why is this? If ...
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1answer
683 views

How did the object CO-0.40-0.22 get its name, and how is it distinct from CO-0.40-0.22*?

There seems to be three things described in the recent Nature Astronomy paper Millimetre-wave emission from an intermediate-mass black hole candidate in the Milky Way: Molecular cloud CO–0.40–0.22 ...
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1answer
113 views

Can weak gravitational lensing or microlensing-induced wavefront distortion limit resolution of absurdly large aperture telescopes?

This is a theoretical question. This answer to the question If we had the right technology could we see a distant star in detail? (presumably space-based) primarily addresses the scaling of ...
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How far have stars been seen beyond the center of the Milky Way?

What lies near the center of the galaxy is of great interest and in recent times the motion of dozen(s) of stars at the center of our galaxy orbiting around Sgr A* have been measured in great detail. ...
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1answer
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How is it determined that the X-ray and radio intensity come from a magnetic field bridge between two clusters of galaxies?

Gizmodo's Astronomers Spot Mysterious, 10-Million-Light-Year-Long Magnetic Field Connecting Two Galaxy Clusters shows the image below, and Space.com's A Weird 'Radio Bridge' 10 Million-Light Years ...
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1answer
53 views

Why would atmospheric absorption increase rather than decrease the antenna temperature in Penzias and Wilson's famous CMB observation?

The classic paper A MEASUREMENT OF EXCESS ANTENNA TEMPERATURE AT 4080 Mc/s begins: Measurements of the effective zenith noise temperature of the 20-foot horn-reflector antenna (Crawford, Hogg, and ...
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1answer
112 views

How do astronomers convert radio signals received by their antenna to images?

I'm very new to radio astronomy and I am curious how an the signals received by a radio antenna are converted to data on a computer and then images? Is there a popular software to use for this, or do ...
3
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1answer
287 views

Why is this video showing radio waves transmitted from a radio telescope?

I saw this video at Space.com and I noticed that at 00:05 the animation illustrates waves propagating from space into The Dish at Parks Observatory, but at 00:50 the direction of propagation is ...