Radio JOVE Hears Monster Jupiter Storm

Volume 15, Number 4, December 1999

By James Thieman

On October 23, 1999, there was a massive radio storm emitted by Jupiter and received by the telescopes of a number of participants in the Radio JOVE education project. Radio JOVE is an interactive educational activity that brings the radio sounds of Jupiter and the Sun to students, teachers, and the general public. This is accomplished through the construction of a simple radio telescope kit as described in the project Web site at

One particular school, the Lexington (Kentucky) Traditional Magnet School, was using its equipment for its first Jupiter observations. The sixth graders and their families had gathered at 2:00 in the morning at the farm of their teacher, Wendell Salmons, to set up the antenna and listen to the receiver they had built. As Mr. Salmons put it, "As incredible as it may sound, the Radio JOVE students, parents, teachers, and expert assistant (Dave Sublette) succeeded in receiving and recording radio emissions from Jupiter one half billion miles away early Saturday morning. The kids and parents went wild!! " They even had television coverage of their project. (See Radio JOVE in the News section at The movie clip is somewhat distorted from the compression necessary to shrink it to a 2.1 MB size, but it still tells the story very well of why NSSDC participates in the Radio JOVE education project.

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Author:Miranda Beall
Curator:Lori Persichitti
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
Last Revised: 15 MARCH 2000 [LAP]