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Author Topic: Radio astronomy.  (Read 41098 times)

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Offline davemahoney

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Re: Radio astronomy.
« Reply #30 on: 20:19:13, 04 December, 2007 »
Thanks Roger :thumbup:
I know the equipment is expensive and difficult for the home constucter to build. My argument is that without the experimental diy'er then we would not have the computers/technology we have today. I don't believe in saying "it can't be done" because it will. Ground based visual telescopes are nearly achiving results better results than Hubble. So radio can do the same surely?
Or am i being to much like Arthur c clarke ;)

Dave.
Skywatcher ED80 pro
Celestron 114mm short newt.
ASTSC1C Webcam.
Fuji finepix s3500.
Bresser 10x50 bins.
Switched Systems electronic focuser.
And a couple of eyepieces and filters.

Offline NickH

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Re: Radio astronomy.
« Reply #31 on: 23:05:25, 04 December, 2007 »
For me it is about the small scale "radio jove/meteor/sun activity" stuff. so I think this thread is very interesting, and hopefully will spark some interest in a possible section, if people start to post images..

Celestron C11: DSI-C/Toucam Pro 2 ICX mod and SC1.5 mod/ Meade LPI/EOS300D/ED80/WO80ZS/Shoestring guider. PST/PST CaK/ART285

No time....always bloomin cloudy...need to build the Obsy..

Offline Hoohoo

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Re: Radio astronomy.
« Reply #32 on: 23:41:26, 04 December, 2007 »
Just a couple of quick questions..

How do you "image" in radiowave? do you just set up an receiver and record whatever signal is received while slowly scanning over the sky?

Would it be possible to use a spectrum-analyzer for the job? If lucky, i may lend a 6mhz-9Ghz analyzer so if that could be put to use maybe i could apply for borrowing it.

Also, you may remove my unsure vote and replace it with a "yes"-vote in the poll 8)

Kim
Kim

Skywatcher 190MN
Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro
Canon EOS350 Cold Finger modded and removed IR filter
QHY5 Finder Guider

Offline johnleepbs

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Re: Radio astronomy.
« Reply #33 on: 05:50:25, 05 December, 2007 »
We all live on a small budget, but backyard astronomy in the early days broke new bounds.
The backyard astronomer these days can still contribute and help break the bounds, and contribute to science.


Dave,

The backyard astronomer can indeed contribute to science in radio astronomy, but, as said before, within the bounds of the solar system. Lots of people are doing this already and have been doing so since the 1950's albeit on a very limited range of targets.

Beyond that, well until such time as there is a fundamental change in the understanding of the laws of physics then there is still the fundamentals of high gain (huge antenna and sophisticated electronics) to get the discrimination you need to get meaningful data from what are frighteningly weak signals. Just the background electrical noise/ natural earth based noise etc swamps anything that you might pick up with backyard equipment.

 :D Yes indeed you may be an Arthur C Clarke in the making, but just go back to your posted image, and then check how that was produced! I assume you meant NRAO? http://www.nrao.edu/imagegallery/php/level1.php Backyard work and experimentation with electronics may indeed advance this, but its going to be horribly expensive just for now.

@ Hoohoo  Well very basically, yes. Simplistically, if you have the equipment (said Jodrell Bank, VLBA,  or a satellite for instance) to give you the discrimination and filter out all the false sources, then an area can be scanned and the resultant signal levels recorded, thus building up a "picture". To see this image it is then transposed down into the visible spectrum to create a false image, but the real science is done with the original data.

You could put that spectrum analyser to use with solar system objects certainly! A small Yagi type antenna, fitration in the band of interest and just point it at the "dormant" sun is a start :D.

Useful Links, start here:

http://radio-astronomy.org/

http://www.nitehawk.com/rasmit/ws1_4.html

or closer to home (for most) http://www.ukaranet.org.uk/

Regards,

John
LX200 and WO 90 side by side mounted on EQ6 in a shed :-) , hacked D70s and a couple of old cooled Starlight cams

Offline apollo

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Re: Radio astronomy.
« Reply #34 on: 10:35:25, 05 December, 2007 »
If you look at the UKARA.net website you can see some of the "images" that are possible with amateur radio telescopes.

There's a more traditional all-sky radio image of the 408MHz All Sky Survey (http://www.408mhzsurvey.org.uk/) or something a little more unconventional in the form of Ken Tappings image of meteor activity over a period of a few months clearly showing Perseid meteor shower activity. Check out page 11 on this report (http://www.ukaranet.org.uk/projects/Perseids_2004.pdf) to see it.

Whilst not your average astronomical image, quite an interesting astronomical project that does not depend on the weather!
Simon C. Smith.
12" UHTC Meade LX200 Classic, 8" Meade Starfinder, Skywatcher 80ED, Canon 20D, ToUCam Pro (Modded for LE), Astronomy Limiting Babies.

Offline NickH

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Re: Radio astronomy.
« Reply #35 on: 10:43:52, 05 December, 2007 »
The 408 Mhz survey shot is superb, as is the "meteor" hit count. Exactly what I would love to be doing for the upcoming Geminids, as the peak is in daylight!

Celestron C11: DSI-C/Toucam Pro 2 ICX mod and SC1.5 mod/ Meade LPI/EOS300D/ED80/WO80ZS/Shoestring guider. PST/PST CaK/ART285

No time....always bloomin cloudy...need to build the Obsy..

Offline Philoptic

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Re: Radio astronomy.
« Reply #36 on: 14:00:18, 05 December, 2007 »
Well I start my atsrophysics degree in January and part of my coursework involves learning to control the radio telescopes at Jodrell Bank in order to obtain data.  I think the data capture is limited to 30 minutes but its better than nothing.

So if anybody is interested at the time then I will publish my results (good or bad) on the forum.
Phil  - Tingley, Leeds
http://www.phil-lowe.eu
53° 43' North, 1° 34' West
Canon 450D, 18-55mm EF-S,  SIGMA 70-300mm APO, Canon EF100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS USM, Astrotrac Mount. Dark Site :)

Offline Roger Banks

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Re: Radio astronomy.
« Reply #37 on: 14:38:31, 05 December, 2007 »
Well I start my atsrophysics degree in January and part of my coursework involves learning to control the radio telescopes at Jodrell Bank in order to obtain data.  I think the data capture is limited to 30 minutes but its better than nothing.

So if anybody is interested at the time then I will publish my results (good or bad) on the forum.

OOOOHH - yes please!!!

Offline davemahoney

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Re: Radio astronomy.
« Reply #38 on: 14:51:53, 05 December, 2007 »
Well I start my atsrophysics degree in January and part of my coursework involves learning to control the radio telescopes at Jodrell Bank in order to obtain data.  I think the data capture is limited to 30 minutes but its better than nothing.

So if anybody is interested at the time then I will publish my results (good or bad) on the forum.

OOOOHH - yes please!!!
Seconded :D

Kim.
Unfortunately i cannot change your vote, i think only admin can do that to avoid vote rigging.

John and Apollo.
Thanks for the links 8)

Dave.
Skywatcher ED80 pro
Celestron 114mm short newt.
ASTSC1C Webcam.
Fuji finepix s3500.
Bresser 10x50 bins.
Switched Systems electronic focuser.
And a couple of eyepieces and filters.

Offline Hoohoo

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Re: Radio astronomy.
« Reply #39 on: 15:37:26, 05 December, 2007 »
Thanks for the info John, i will ask my teacher to borrow it someday, will of course have to stay at school while recording but that would not be a problem.

Dave: Ok, well you know my opinion anyway.

Kim
Kim

Skywatcher 190MN
Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro
Canon EOS350 Cold Finger modded and removed IR filter
QHY5 Finder Guider

Offline Ambermile

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Re: Radio astronomy.
« Reply #40 on: 15:45:57, 05 December, 2007 »
Quote from: davemahoney
Kim.
Unfortunately i cannot change your vote, i think only admin can do that to avoid vote rigging.


Not even Admin - *all* votes can be deleted (reset counters) but that's about it.

Arthur

Offline Nidge

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Re: Radio astronomy.
« Reply #41 on: 16:03:54, 05 December, 2007 »
I've only just come across this thread (sorry been working nights for the last few days) and I'm quite excited by the interest it has generated (Nice one Dave).  I'll first announce my callsign, G0NIG, and add that I have experimented with some of the amateur radio space orientated communications, namely meteor scatter, earth-moon-earth, and satellite comms.

One of the big limiting factors, and I'm sure some of the other licensed ops on here will agree, is getting an effective antenna system installed. My main problems were with the neighbours and I had to abandon any hope of an effective earth-moon-earth system up and running due to the required planning permission and objections from neighbours. In recent years, thanks to the availability of computers and digital signal processing techniques it has become a lot easier to pull weak signals out of the ether. In fact most of the software used to detect and analyse the weak signals is freeware:

http://freenet-homepage.de/dl4yhf/spectra1.html

 And will run on very modest computer setups. This is fine if all you want to do is monitor for some of the more powerful sources in the HF VHF and lower UHF spectrums. But when you then require the resolution to produce images the received frequency range becomes a little restrictive to the home enthusiast.  

Software Defined Radio's (SDR's) are becoming more and more popular due in part to their relative simplicity and the fact that it's far easier to sample radio frequencies and manipulate and view the data when in a digital form. which I'm sure we all appreciate while imaging in the optical wavelengths.  They also have the advantage of being able to manipulate large bandwidths, again via software, rather than being limited to a very narrow audio bandwidths when using conventional analog receivers.

I do believe there is a place for radio astronomy within the amateur community. But as domestic technology becomes more prevalent so does the radio frequency interference it generates, this has more or less curtailed any amateur radio operation from within my suburban neighbourhood due to the RF noise generated by computers, Plasma/LCD TV's, security systems, etc. Exactly the same as light pollution just at a different wavelength.

I still have various receivers, vintage and modern, and since this topic has started I for one will follow the links already posted and experiment, afterall the weather in the next few days isn't conducive to my optical receivers.

Regards All

Nidge.
Meade LXD-55 SN8,
Celestron CG-5 with GotoNova GOTO kit.
Phenix Optics 127mm F1200 refractor,
Orion Starshoot DSI
BC&F 25 x 100 Binocular
Canon 300D,
Canon EOS 50e,
Philips Tuocam Pro II.

Offline davemahoney

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Re: Radio astronomy.
« Reply #42 on: 17:45:00, 05 December, 2007 »
Thanks for the Input Nidge 8)
I just spent an hour or so exploring the link you posted, and it seems to have a lot of possibilities.
I've also downloaded the software and got immediate results, obviously noise :lol:
Next step is to make up some antenna's to plug into the sound card and try out the radio.

Cheers.
Dave.
Skywatcher ED80 pro
Celestron 114mm short newt.
ASTSC1C Webcam.
Fuji finepix s3500.
Bresser 10x50 bins.
Switched Systems electronic focuser.
And a couple of eyepieces and filters.

Offline johnleepbs

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Re: Radio astronomy.
« Reply #43 on: 18:39:17, 05 December, 2007 »
Ok Dave,

Do just that, its very interesting and lots of fun  :D,  just miles and $M's away from astroimaging. Yep noise, probably from next door  :D

Ok Ok... take your soon to be obselete roof TV Yagi and point it skyward, different yes? And then appreciate the vast gulf between radio astronomy and just setting up a scope to get pictures.

Your enthusiasm and imagination is what drives all astronomy enthusiasts, but  just for now, unless you are the next Newton or Einstein, the laws of physics do not change.

But hey,  do as you please, I count 3 other Radio Amateurs on here, I am G0OPA

John
LX200 and WO 90 side by side mounted on EQ6 in a shed :-) , hacked D70s and a couple of old cooled Starlight cams

Offline Nidge

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Re: Radio astronomy.
« Reply #44 on: 20:34:24, 05 December, 2007 »
Thanks for the Input Nidge 8)
I just spent an hour or so exploring the link you posted, and it seems to have a lot of possibilities.
I've also downloaded the software and got immediate results, obviously noise :lol:
Next step is to make up some antenna's to plug into the sound card and try out the radio.

Cheers.
Dave.

Hi Dave

I don't believe you're going to get a lot by plugging wire into a soundcard ??? I'm sure you meant antenna's into a receiver :D

Nidge
Meade LXD-55 SN8,
Celestron CG-5 with GotoNova GOTO kit.
Phenix Optics 127mm F1200 refractor,
Orion Starshoot DSI
BC&F 25 x 100 Binocular
Canon 300D,
Canon EOS 50e,
Philips Tuocam Pro II.

 

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