Category: Astronomy

From amateur radio buff to NASA’s go-to guy (Australia)

ABC News article about radio amateur Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI says ‘NASA considers this 80-year-old radio buff part of the astronaut family’ To NASA personnel, he is VK5ZAI. To his neighbours at Pinks Beach, a small coastal town in South Australia, he goes by Tony. In his 30-year association with the US space agency, Tony Hutchison has been […]

via HACKADAY: The Great Moon Hoax — No Not That One!

Humans first walked on the moon 50 years ago, yet there are some people who don’t think it happened. This story is not about them. It turns out there was another great conspiracy theory involving a well-known astronomer, unicorns, and humanoids with bat wings. This one came 134 years before the words “We chose to […]

via the ARRL: Earth’s Magnetic North Pole Shifts toward Siberia

National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) scientists have updated the world magnetic model (WMM) mid-cycle, as Earth’s northern magnetic pole has begun shifting quickly away from the Canadian Arctic and toward Siberia, an NCEI report said this week. The new WMM more accurately represents the change of the magnetic field since 2015. The alteration could have an […]

via HACKADAY: Radio Telescopes Horn In With GNU Radio

Who doesn’t like to look up at the night sky? But if you are into radio, there’s a whole different way to look using radio telescopes. [John Makous] spoke at the GNU Radio Conference about how he’s worked to make a radio telescope that is practical for even younger students to build and operate. The only real […]

via HACKADAY: Pi Zero Gives Amateur Astronomer Affordable Control Of Telescope

Like many other hobbies, astronomy can be pursued on many levels, with equipment costs ranging from the affordable to the – well, astronomical. Thankfully, there are lots of entry-level telescopes on the market, some that even come with mounts that automatically find and track heavenly bodies. Finding a feature is as easy as aligning to […]

via HACKADAY: Tiny Telescope For Simple Radio Astronomy

We are used to imagining radio telescopes as immense pieces of scientific apparatus, such as the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, or the Lovell telescope in the UK. It’s a surprise then that they can be constructed on a far more modest sale using off-the-shelf components, and it’s a path that [Gonçalo Nespral] has taken […]

via HACKADAY: AI Finds More Space Chatter

Scientists don’t know exactly what fast radio bursts (FRBs) are. What they do know is that they come from a long way away. In fact, one that occurs regularly comes from a galaxy 3 billion light years away. They could form from neutron stars or they could be extraterrestrials phoning home. The other thing is […]

via HACKADAY: The Biggest Corner Antenna We’ve Ever Seen

Radio waves are received on antennas, for which when the signal in question comes over a long distance a big reflector is needed. When the reception distance is literally astronomical, the reflector has to be pretty darn big. [The Thought Emporium] wants to pick up signals from distant satellites, the moon, and hopefully a pulsar. […]

via the ARRL: Management Change Under Way at Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced that a management change is under way at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. The University of Central Florida (UCF) has begun formal transition activities to assume the operations and management of Arecibo Observatory, which sustained significant damage during Hurricane Maria last September. “The university will take over formal management and execute a program of research […]

via HACKADAY: Black Holes and the Elusive Mystery That Lies Within an Equation

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” This famous quote by Isaac Newton points to an axiom that lies at the heart of The Sciences — knowledge precedes knowledge. What we know today is entirely based upon what we learned in the past. This general pattern […]

via the ARRL: Simple 40-Meter Dipole Supports Advanced Mars Radar

The venerable HF dipole has found a new home and purpose in space. The Mars advanced radar for subsurface and ionospheric sounding (MARSIS) on Mars Express uses a simple 40-meter dipole as the antenna for its subsurface sounding radar. The dual-channel low-frequency sounder operates between 1.3 and 5.5 MHz for subsurface sounding and between 100 […]

via the ARRL: Amateur Radio Reports: Arecibo Observatory Dish Sustained Serious Damage from Maria

Articles on the National Geographic and Space.com websites report that scientists and Amateur Radio operators have confirmed that Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory came through Hurricane Maria largely intact but “with some significant damage.” Universities Space Research Association (USRA), which helps to operate the Observatory, said it learned via “short wave radio contact” that staff and […]

via the ARRL: HamSCI Presents Initial Eclipse Results at ARRL-TAPR Digital Communications Conference

At the 36th annual ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC), held September 15–17 this year in St. Louis, HamSCI members presented preliminary evidence that the August 21 solar eclipse had a significant effect on HF propagation. The DCC is geared toward technically minded Amateur Radio operators who specialize in building and designing hardware and […]

The Great American Eclipse: Virginia Tech researcher grapples with a year’s worth of data

Stationed in an empty field at Shaw Air Force Base near Sumter, South Carolina, Virginia Tech electrical engineering professor Greg Earle and his team waited for the total solar eclipse of 2017. Rather than traveling toward the path of totality to see one of “nature’s most awe-inspiring sights,” Earle prepared to put his three-year-old hypothesis […]

via the ARRL: Space Weather Prediction Center Says Solar Phenomena May Continue

The Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) said today that G4 (Severe) geomagnetic storm levels were observed at 2350 UTC on September 7 and again at 0151 UTC and 1304 UTC on September 8, due to the effects of a coronal mass ejection (CME). A G3 (Strong) or greater warning was in effect until 1500 UTC […]

via the ARRL: Solar Flares Spark Radio Blackouts, Auroral Displays Possible

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has issued a strong (G3) geomagnetic storm watch for September 7 through September 9. The SWPC said the watch for September 7 remains in effect due to the arrival of a coronal mass ejection (CME) and the effects of a CME on September 4. “Additionally, a G3 watch is […]

More Professional and Citizen Research Suggests Eclipse Briefly Affected HF Propagation

Both professional and citizen scientists conducted formal and informal investigations into the effect of the August 21 solar eclipse on HF radio propagation. Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, of HamSCI, has said it will take some time to get a more scientific analysis of data compiled during the Solar Eclipse QSO Party. Frissell and others are investigating […]