We Listen To The Universe
Radio Astronomy is a branch of astronomy that studies celestial objects at radio frequencies.
The MBO Radio Astronomy Group have a number of projects on the go which include:
- Radio Jove – observing and analysing natural radio emissions from Jupiter, the Sun, and our galaxy. We have two Radio Jove receivers hooked up to two dipole antennae above the roof, so we can do interferometry (effectively “steering” the reception beam).
- Hydrogen line radio astrometry – The hydrogen line (1420.40575 MHz) is the precession frequency of neutral hydrogen atoms, the most abundant substance in space. It happens to fall in the quietest part of the radio spectrum, what’s known as the Microwave Window. These individual atoms chirping away at 1420 MHz make a powerful chorus, which is readily detected by even small radio telescopes. The hydrogen line is a protected spectrum because It’s a great frequency for observing the structure of the universe, and some of the best and most detailed Milky Way radio maps have been made on the hydrogen line. It is probably the world’s most popular radio astronomy frequency. We have two 2-metre dishes above the roof feeding a dual channel 1420MHz receiver.
- Magnetometry – study of variations in the Earth’s magnetic field. The field forms a magnetic dipole, with the south magnetic pole near the Earth’s geographic north pole. The Earth’s magnetic field, which extends several tens of thousands of kilometres into space, is called the magnetosphere and it is this that is affected by events on the Sun. We have a 2-channel magnetometer utilising fluxgate magnetometers.
- A number of other projects are in the pipeline, including lightning detector, muon detector, earthquake detector, etc, as personnel and interest develop.
Check out our projects at https://rag.mbo.org.au/