Questions tagged [radio-astronomy]

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

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18
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3answers
3k views

Can I sense a bright star pointing an eight foot antenna towards it?

If I connect an eight foot Yagi or other comparable sized antenna to my oscilloscope and point the antenna at a bright star will I see a voltage on my oscilloscope? I am not interested in turning the ...
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2answers
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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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4answers
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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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2answers
934 views

What are practical considerations for backyard radio-astronomy detection of black holes?

Evidently, direct observation of a black hole for an amateur astronomer, such as described for what professionals do in the question "How are black holes found?" would be nigh on impossible, so the ...
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5answers
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Can impact craters on the moon act like giant radio telescopes?

Could large craters on the moon be used as reflective lenses for radio signals? Acting like a large radio telescope reflecting radio waves to a satellite positioned over the crater.
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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 ...
11
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1answer
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A “strange” unit radio astronomy

I'm reading up on radio astronomy, and I came across this paper from 1964. At the bottom of page 193, the author uses a unit that I've not seen before in discussing radio power emission from stars: ...
11
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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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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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3answers
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Why are radio telescopes shaped so differently than optical telescopes?

Why are radio telescopes typically only a dish with a receiver above it, while optical telescopes have a primary, plus secondary and sometimes even a tertiary mirror? In other words, why do radio ...
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2answers
432 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 ...
9
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1answer
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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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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? ...
9
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1answer
108 views

Current limitations in radio-astronomical spectrometry analysis of local interstellar cloud's hyperfine structures

I've been trying to wrap my head around capabilities of current radio-astronomical spectrometry technology to isolate not too distant tenuous sources, say, chemical composition and density of the the ...
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2answers
5k views

Does the radio signal decay when it travels through the intergalactic space?

When you emit the radio signal it starts moving at the speed of light. Radio beam is diffusing with each kilometer the signal has traveled. To the nearby receiver the signal is strong. But if the ...
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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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1answer
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How big a dish do I need for radio astronomy?

I've recently become interested in the idea of building my own small-scale radio telescope. A quick online search finds a few instructions on how to build this using a satellite dish. These suggest a ...
8
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1answer
611 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 ...
8
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1answer
186 views

How can I hear (or at least detect) a pulsar at home?

Scott Manley's video Using Relativistic Raytracing &X-Rays To See Detail on Surface Of Neutron Star talks about X-ray measurements using the NICER X-ray telescope attached to the International ...
8
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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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0answers
80 views

How can maser emission be unpolarized?

I was reading that: However, unlike Galactic sources such as W3(OH), the emission is unpolarized and the 1667 MHz line is stronger than the 1665 MHz line. but how is this possible? Does not the ...
7
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3answers
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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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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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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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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428 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 ...
7
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122 views

Could a space radio telescope fill multiple purposes?

Dream for a while and imagine that there will be a flagship+ mission within a decade to put a large radio telescope in space: What kind of different tasks could the same radio equipment feasibly be ...
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2answers
11k views

What is the maximum transmission distance of the radio signal in the outer space which could still be understood?

I’ll put this question in a form of a physics problem: Transmitter at a point A sends a signal to a receiver at a point B. What is the longest distance in light years from points A to B for which ...
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1answer
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What does the velocity dispersion of a galaxy mean?

Also, what is the advantage of getting information about the velocity dispersion of a galaxy?
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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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7answers
718 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
177 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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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 ...
6
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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 ...
6
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2answers
2k views

What kind of things I could “see” with an amateur radio telescope?

There are apparently not many reasonably priced radio telescopes available for the amateur users. I only could find this one, which costs ~10 k€. Reading the page, I don't get a good overview what ...
6
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1answer
267 views

The contents of potential “message” in the Wow! signal lost?

The Wow! signal is still an enigma. I understand the incredibly high signal strength it entails. This during some time-period because the sweep of the alignment (or rather the receiving station). ...
6
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2answers
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 ...
6
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2answers
137 views

When do radio and tv signals become indistinguishable from background noise of the universe?

I understand the rate an EM signal broadcast uniformly from the Earth will decrease in its power is governed by the inverse square law. How far from Earth will radio and tv signals become ...
6
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1answer
117 views

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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2answers
152 views

Is there any update on the Availability of Event Horizon Telescope Images?

There has been no news on the obvious public channels from the EHT project since last (Northern) summer. Does anyone have more information on when any results from the April 2017 run might be released?...
6
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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 ...
6
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2answers
298 views

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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1answer
64 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
654 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 ...
6
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1answer
129 views

Telescope in Sun's gravity lens focus - pointing, gain, distortions

A telescope located in the gravitational focus of the Sun can use the Sun as a magnifying lens. The focus begins 550 AU away, but maybe a 700 or 1000 AU distance is needed to get rid of disturbances ...
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1answer
64 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
194 views

Brightest Radio Source In the Universe

I would have assumed that the brightest radio source in the Universe is a quasar of some kind (perhaps 3C 273) given that the average pulsar has luminosity of $~10^{40} \text{Watts}$ and this is the ...
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0answers
69 views

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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4answers
214 views

Has the microwave background radiation ever been blocked in order to prove it's really from the sky?

A rather stupid question but I was just curious if the radiation could be virtual. From the instrument....sort of like virtual particles. In other words if you just build a sensitive microwave ...

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