July 17, 2024

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine

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Radio pioneers: the enduring role of ‘amateurs’ in radio astronomy

In the latest Physics World Stories podcast, astrophysicist Emma Chapman is in conversation with host Andrew Glester about the history of radio astronomy. It’s a field that has always maintained a do-it-yourself ethic, with valuable contributions from people outside the established academic community.

Chapman, an astrophysicist at the University of Nottingham in the UK is the author of the popular-science book First Light: Switching on Stars at the Dawn of Time. Alongside her research, Chapman regularly visits amateur radio astronomy clubs and admires the technical expertise she encounters among members.

Cold War boom

Using much of the same technology as radar, radio astronomy evolved rapidly in the post-war period and took on strategic importance during the Space Race. Indeed, the Lovell Telescope at the Jodrell Bank observatory in northern England was the only facility in the Western world that could track Sputnik 1, launched by the Soviet Union in 1957.

Read more – Physics World: