Questions tagged [radio-astronomy]

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

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52
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4answers
6k views

Is there any role today that would justify building a large single dish radio telescope to replace Arecibo?

It seems that most of the modern radio astronomy instruments and observation that make the news are interferometers or phased array systems of one kind of another. Is there any application left for ...
32
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4answers
3k views

What will succeed the Arecibo Observatory?

Just a few minutes ago, I got a notification from Space.com stating that the Arecibo Observatory will be, sadly, decommissioned due to extensive damage to its structure. So, with the loss of one of ...
19
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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 ...
19
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2answers
965 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 ...
18
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
18
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4answers
6k views

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 ...
17
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5answers
3k views

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.
15
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
12
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
11
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1answer
2k views

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
297 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 ...
10
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1answer
193 views

Do radio telescopes see other stars better at night?

As you know, we don’t see stars with the naked eye during the day because of the visible glare of our Sun. As I understand our Sun emits radio frequency waves, too. Is there a radio ‘glare’ from the ...
10
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2answers
651 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? ...
10
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1answer
490 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 ...
9
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
9
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1answer
898 views

Why does the Sun deviate from a typical blackbody spectrum in the S band?

This is sort of a follow-up to this question, and my answer to it. The graph I see here details the radio (and other frequencies) emission of the sun. What's most notable and interesting to me is the ...
9
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2answers
509 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
2k views

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 ...
9
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1answer
2k 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 ...
9
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2answers
145 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 ...
9
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1answer
111 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 ...
9
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0answers
173 views

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 ...
9
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0answers
93 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 ...
8
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2answers
6k 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 ...
8
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3answers
155 views

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 (...
8
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2answers
776 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 ...
8
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2answers
295 views

Is Carl Sagan's famous "snowflake" quote correct?

“The total amount of energy from outside the solar system ever received by all the radio telescopes on the planet Earth is less than the energy of a single snowflake striking the ground.” ― Carl Sagan,...
8
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1answer
801 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 ...
8
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1answer
740 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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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 a SPIDER 230C 2.3 meter diameter compact radio telescope, which costs ~10 k€. ...
8
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2answers
662 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 ...
8
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4answers
646 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 ...
8
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1answer
139 views

Can one build a distributed radio telescope?

I understand some radio telescopes are built as arrays of receivers. Could one build an array from a heterogeneous set of receivers in scattered locations? Suppose a large number of persons each ...
8
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2answers
152 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 ...
8
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1answer
357 views

What is a radio "homology telescope" and is the 500m dish in China one?

This question is about design aspects of large radio telescope dishes which allow them to flex under the influence of gravity as they change elevation angle, and still maintain good optical ...
8
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1answer
124 views

How open is China in sharing data from the Chang'e 4 mission?

It's really good to see that man (well, machine) has gone back to the moon again. Chang'e 4 is studying potential mantle material from the lunar depths and will be conducting radio astronomy in ...
8
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1answer
337 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 ...
7
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3answers
837 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 ...
7
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2answers
918 views

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 ...
7
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2answers
530 views

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 ...
7
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1answer
330 views

What radio frequency ranges are most beneficial for astronomy?

I cannot get the idea of citizen radio astronomy out of my head, and choosing an antenna (design) heavily depends on the desired frequency range. The Arecibo telescope as my gold standard operated 300 ...
7
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2answers
430 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 ...
7
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1answer
290 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). ...
7
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1answer
149 views

Are there any astronomical phenomena that could emit strong radio waves with multiples of a discrete frequency?

In the New Scientist article Is this ET? Mystery of strange radio bursts from space, it is reported that several times since 2001, astronomers have detected fast radio bursts that seem to have a ...
7
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1answer
77 views

What could a cloud of mini radio dishes see?

Suppose an astronomer gave a 1 m radio dish to 500 people scattered over the face of the Earth and connected them to the internet. The people are directed to set their radio antennae up in their ...
7
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1answer
494 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 ...
7
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1answer
74 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 ...
7
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1answer
133 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 ...
7
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2answers
12k 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 ...
6
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7answers
826 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 ...

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