History and Radio JOVE Join at NRAO

Volume 15, Number 3, September 1999

By James Thieman

The Radio JOVE education and outreach project recently emulated radio astronomy pioneer Karl Jansky by successfully observing Jupiter using the Radio JOVE receiver kit connected to a reconstruction of the 1932 Jansky telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Green Bank, West Virginia. The Radio JOVE project gives schools and the general public the opportunity to build a radio astronomy receiver and antenna and use them to record and analyze the radio emissions from Jupiter and the Sun. Project members Chuck Higgins (National Research Council Research Associate) and Len Garcia and James Thieman (Goddard Space Flight Center scientists) journeyed to Green Bank together with University of Maryland astronomy student Albie Davison and Annapolis High School student Autumn Thayer, working with the project for the summer. There, the group met Richard Flagg, another project member from Hawaii and designer of the Radio JOVE receiver. Together, they gave a presentation about Radio JOVE to the annual meeting of the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA).

By good fortune the meeting coincided with a time period when Jupiter radio storms had been predicted. The group not only set up the standard Radio JOVE receiver kit and antenna but also connected a Radio JOVE receiver to the reconstructed Karl Jansky telescope, which NRAO maintains at its facility. The effort was rewarded by the recording of Jupiter radio emissions at NRAO and their veriication by simultaneous acquisition by Francisco Reyes, another project member, at the University of Florida Radio Observatory.

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