You are here

Radio Astronomy

A very unenergetic wavelength, or frequency, of light. Radio waves are the least energetic form of radiation known. They have wavelengths longer than 10^-3 meters and frequencies less than 10^11 Hz. Radio waves are not harmful to life because they are not strong enough to ionize atoms or destroy cells. While the Earth’s atmosphere shields us from some radio radiation, it does allow radio waves in the vicinity of VHF, UHF, and FM frequencies to pass through. Astronomers study waves that pass through this “radio window” with large radio telescopes or antennas, which resemble giant satellite dishes. Often, many radio antennas are coordinated together to synthesize even bigger telescopes, such as the Very Large Array in New Mexico. In addition to astronomy, radio waves have many useful applications on Earth, such as television and radio broadcasts and RADAR.

Radio Programs

Timing a Black Hole Delicate timing for a dead star October 26, 2018

Martin Ryle A better way to view the universe September 27, 2018

South-Pole Astronomy Science at the bottom of the world August 9, 2018

New Telescope A new eye on the radio sky August 8, 2018

Radar Asteroids Tracking asteroids with radar June 14, 2018

Embryonic Planet? A possible new planet around a new star May 2, 2018

Cassiopeia A A dead star that’s bright but invisible January 2, 2018

Pulsars V Some amazing projects for students December 1, 2017

Pulsars Discovering a “scruffy” star November 27, 2017

Harold Weaver Probing a “mysterious” molecule September 27, 2017

Radio Power Sailing on a “breeze” of radio waves May 24, 2017

Closing In A busy, far-away source of radio waves May 23, 2017

Loud Sun Listening in on the Sun February 27, 2017

Fast Bursts Explaining a new kind of outburst January 18, 2017

War Surplus Reflections on war-time astronomy December 9, 2016

Calling the Neighbors Placing a call to the neighbors November 10, 2016

Searching for Neighbors II Eavesdropping on the galaxy November 8, 2016

Big Dish Dishing up a giant new telescope September 11, 2016

Moon and Mercury A close but elusive planet April 8, 2016

Planetary Pebbles Ingredients for a giant planet February 14, 2016

Interferometry II Sharpening the view of the stars February 9, 2016

False Alarm A hint of an interstellar radio station May 26, 2015

Evening Mercury Measuring a planetary day April 25, 2015

African Astronomy II New uses for old radio dishes March 25, 2015