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Professional Lovell Radio Telescope, Jodrell Bank.

Jodrell bank and associates where celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank , Cheshire. It had recently been cleaned up and upgraded for future astronomy. I went along to the visitor centre on 24th October 2007 and took some photographs, you can see these in the Creations Photo Gallery.

Using amature radio and radio telescopes to see the hidden wonders.Author: Peter Garrity Although my background is in electronics,  I never seriously considered using a radio to observe space. Recently a collegue at work, who is an amature radio enthusiast, introduced to me number signals .These are voice codes sent out for some unknown reason from various parts of the globe. He let me use a spare radio receiver ,so I could listen in on parts of the spectrum that are not normally available through domestic radios and televisions. Reading up on what could be done with these High frequency radios, I discovered a whole new hobby that seemed to pass me by , combining a lot of my interests in space , science and electronics.In the United Kingdom and other countries you will need to pass an amature radio exam to acquire a listen for transmission at special frequencies. However no 'special' licence is required as far as I am aware, for listening to the radio signals from the ether that are within the areas I will be using to study space .

With the aid of a HF radio receiver it is possible to do the following.

listen to and communicate with Astronauts on the International Space Station.

listen to satellites some of which send weather images of Earth from space.

listen to lightning on Earth.

You can also listen to electromagnetic emissions from the Sun ,Jupiter and other sources.

My current favourite is listening to and counting meteors.

Suprisingly these can all be done at very little cost. A good Receiver will cost about £1500 , but there are scanners for about £200 , and PC recievers starting at £350 . I use a simple wire as the antenna that is about 12 metres long in the garden that picks up spacewaves almost directly from above. I also have a diople made of the same bell wire that comes off a coaxial feeder, the two are joined together. I placed the dipole antenna in the loft space to try and get as high as possible . line of sight would bring an outside antenna inline with surrounding buildings anyway, so a few thick tiles are going to give a better all round reception.These types of random antenna cost a few pound if not pennys and work just as well as expensive antenna, but you will need some distance of 3 metres+ to benefit, an no radio interference from computers and other electronics.

So as not to repeat the good work of others, I have set out some links to other websites that will give you more detail and perpective.

NASA Where Lightning Strikes Web Page

RMO Radio Meteor Observation

NASA Radio Jove

Radio Astronomy