What is Radio telescope: Definition and 32 Discussions

A radio telescope is a specialized antenna and radio receiver used to detect radio waves from astronomical radio sources in the sky. Radio telescopes are the main observing instrument used in radio astronomy, which studies the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum emitted by astronomical objects, just as optical telescopes are the main observing instrument used in traditional optical astronomy which studies the light wave portion of the spectrum coming from astronomical objects. Unlike optical telescopes, radio telescopes can be used in the daytime as well as at night.
Since astronomical radio sources such as planets, stars, nebulas and galaxies are very far away, the radio waves coming from them are extremely weak, so radio telescopes require very large antennas to collect enough radio energy to study them, and extremely sensitive receiving equipment. Radio telescopes are typically large parabolic ("dish") antennas similar to those employed in tracking and communicating with satellites and space probes. They may be used singly or linked together electronically in an array. Radio observatories are preferentially located far from major centers of population to avoid electromagnetic interference (EMI) from radio, television, radar, motor vehicles, and other man-made electronic devices.
Radio waves from space were first detected by engineer Karl Guthe Jansky in 1932 at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey using an antenna built to study radio receiver noise. The first purpose-built radio telescope was a 9-meter parabolic dish constructed by radio amateur Grote Reber in his back yard in Wheaton, Illinois in 1937. The sky survey he performed is often considered the beginning of the field of radio astronomy.

View More On Wikipedia.org
  1. T

    I Can You Build Your Own Radio Telescope at Home?

    "Astronomy" has published an overview article, https://www.astronomy.com/observing/wok-way-to-the-stars-radio-astronomy-with-kitchen-gear/ The 33 page detailed instructions as a PDF file, with 26 references, is at: https://arxiv.org/pdf/2309.15163.pdf Have Fun! -- And let us know your...
  2. A

    I What does the output of a radio telescope look like?

    What does the output of a radio telescope look like? I suppose it is not an image like that of a telescope observing visible light
  3. T

    What Triggers Lightning - Revealed

    https://www.quantamagazine.org/radio-telescope-reveals-how-lightning-begins-20211220/ https://d2r55xnwy6nx47.cloudfront.net/uploads/2021/12/Lightning_1238x826_Lede_Video.mp4 Cheers, Tom
  4. GhostLoveScore

    Calculating flux density of radio telescope

    Hello I've made a small program that does FFT, Fast Fourier Transform on a signal from radio receiver (RTL SDR), and parabolic antenna. Of course, the output is amplitude depending on frequency. I want to use it to detect and measure 1420MHz radiation from space. But I'm not sure on what's the...
  5. hutchphd

    B Snapped Cable Damages Arecibo Observatory Radio Telescope

    Anyone have more information...here is Scott Manley report...not good!
  6. lomidrevo

    B Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT)

    https://www.sciencealert.com/check-out-this-amazing-plan-to-turn-a-crater-on-the-far-side-of-the-moon-into-a-radio-telescope Original article from NASA: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2020_Phase_I_Phase_II/lunar_crater_radio_telescope/
  7. Michael Price

    A Resolving power of a radio telescope array: Quantum or classical?

    My question is: is the resolving power of an array of radio telescopes a quantum or a classical effect? The increase in resolving power of a single telescope, as aperture size increases, is easy to explain in terms of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. But when we go an array of telescopes are...
  8. B

    Astrophysics question: Wire mesh radio telescope antenna

    The answer says its 1 meter i don't understand how they arrived at this, The mark scheme suggests that the 50mm is the resolving power or Rayleigh criteria? https://downloads.umutech.net/Physics/Past_Papers/PA05/Astro/MS/physics_u5_astro_ms_jan_2003.pdf
  9. J

    Stargazing Phase of radio waves received by a radio telescope dish

    I understand that a radio telescope can be tuned to receive radio waves generated by neutral hydrogen atoms present in galactic gas, for example, within the spirals of the milky way. I think I understand that the incoming radio waves will be a mixture of red- and blue-shifted photons depending...
  10. P

    Stargazing How is noise removed in radio telescopes?

    For an optical telescope, light pollution is a problem and that's why put ground-based telescopes in remote places where there isn't much light. However, aren't we bombarded by radio waves from satellites for our phones and TVs? How do radio telescopes remove those?
  11. E

    RF and MW receivers' sensitivity

    I'm currently working on a novel RF and MW sensor and I wanted to know whether there is a paper that shows the current very best receiver sensitivity for a range of wavelengths in the RF-MW range in dBm preferably so I can directly compare to my device.
  12. Clear Mind

    Stargazing Does a Radio Telescope Have Aberration and How Does it Affect Its Performance?

    I was studyng my exam of astrophysics laboratory, while treathing the optical aberration I've wondered: does radio telescope have aberration? Is a paraboloid antenna in a single dish affected by coma? and the radio telescope made by arrays of resonant structures? Maybe those are silly...
  13. N

    I If radiowaves are reflected from objects (i.e planets)....

    ...and they can penetrate a bit in the surface, we could image the subsurface right? I do not see the problem... Help please!
  14. jamalkoiyess

    Stargazing Radio Telescope Building Guide for Beginners

    Hello PF, I was wondering if there is any good guide to build a radio telescope that can give me an image not just a graph. I am just a starter so any advice or tips are relly appreciated.
  15. T

    Stargazing New Radio Telescope is World's Largest

    World's largest radiotelescope just completed. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-07/03/c_135485643.htm
  16. M

    Stargazing Facing difficulties with radio telescope measurements

    Hi Me and a couple of class mates are working on our bachelor's project of which the mission is to measure the temperature of the sun using a parabolic antenna. We are having great troubles trying to come up with an equation relating the antenna temperature (which we are able to calculate with...
  17. Ellie Snyder

    Black hole calculations, the "Event Horizon Telescope"

    Homework Statement Soon astronomers will be imaging the “shadow” of light from the event horizons of black holes. Since black holes are very small, this achievement seems impossible. Nevertheless, it is possible for three reasons: 1. Supermassive black holes have large event horizons. 2. Radio...
  18. S

    Stargazing Single-dish radio telescope aperture

    hello everyone! this is a new single-dish radio telescope, FAST, under construction: http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/06/chinas-five-hundred-meter-aperture.html The aperture is 500 m. But the illuminated aperture is only 300m. So what is the advantage of bigger aperture? is the angular...
  19. K

    Small radio telescope for hydrogen 21cm emission line

    Hi I am trying to figure out if there is call for a small, commercial, educational radio telescope to measure the 21cm emission line of hydrogen. We have been developing an instrument with the following characteristics: - The antenna would have a size of about 1m x 1m. Because the...
  20. Drakkith

    Stargazing How do radio telescopes form images?

    Alright, I know about optical telescopes, but I haven't a clue how a radio telescope forms an image. I'm used to pixels on CCD's measuring photon counts, but how are the radio waves detected and an image created from them?
  21. B

    Destructive Interference: radio telescope, ocean, galaxy

    Homework Statement My solution isn't working out for this question. Radio waves of wavelength 125 m from a galaxy reach a radio telescope by two separate paths. One is a direct path to the receiver, which is situated on the edge of a tall cliff by the ocean, and the second is by...
  22. W

    Radio telescope parabola question

    If a particular radio telescope is 100ft in diameter and has a cross section modeled by the equation x^2=167y, how deep is the parabolic dish? What is the location of the focus? can someone show me some steps to solving this? I have (167/4,0) as the focus for the second part but I am not...
  23. S

    Solar/Sidereal day/SpiralArm/Orbital Speed With Radio Telescope

    Homework Statement Hello, I have 48-hour data from a radio telescope on Earth, and my goal is to answer these four questions: 1) Calculate the length of a solar day. 2) Calculate the length of a sidereal day 3) Explain how to locate a spiral arm on one of your plots and how to determine its...
  24. R

    Stargazing Is a .1MHz RF Choke Necessary for the Itty Bitty Radio Telescope?

    I'm putting together the Itty Bitty Radio Telescope. In the instructions (see: http://www.aoc.nrao.edu/epo/teachers/ittybitty/procedure.html), it says to use a .1Mhz RF Choke. I have been unable to locate this particular frequency, as the only one I have been able to locate has been a 1kHz RF...
  25. J

    Radio Telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico

    Minimum Resolution Angle Problem Homework Statement The radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico, has a reflecting spherical bowl of 295 m diameter. Radio signals can be received and emitted at various frequencies with appropriate antennae at the focal point of the reflecting bowl. At a...
  26. T

    Radio Telescope Resolution - Centaurus A

    Problem: Centaurus A is 15 million light years away and a radio telescope can resolve structures of 1s of arc across. Show that the Structure is 75 light years across. Please Help!
  27. S

    Stargazing Is a Radio Telescope Less Sensitive on the Galactic Plane?

    Is a radio telescope less sensitive on the galactic plane? If so, why? /San
  28. P

    Noise Removal in Radio Telescope Observations

    while dealing with radio telescopes how can we remove the noise and other disturbances like microwave radiation etc.
  29. Y

    Stargazing How is the principle of the operation of radio telescope?

    How is the principle of the operation of radio telescope? I am interesting that how can radio telescope translate signals to image. Does any experts can tell me?
  30. G

    Stargazing Can the Arecibo Radio Telescope Eavesdrop on the Entire Galaxy?

    Is it true that it can eavesdrop the entire galaxy?, like it has the ability to scan the whole galaxy?
  31. R

    Stargazing Building a DIY Radio Telescope: Worth the Time and Effort?

    has anyone built this, something similar, or know anything about it? i found it on the internet and decided it was good to build seeing as i already have a satellite dish not being used. does anyone know of anything perhaps better to build? I've never built a radio telescope before, or any...
  32. M

    Stargazing Working with a radio telescope

    Through my school, I'll be working with a radio telescope. I was wondering if you guys had any ideas or suggestions of cool things that I could research or observe with the radio telescope. Thanks!