This winter has been cloudy and wet. We have canceled many outings at the observatory. If you can’t see the stars, then we can’t see them with the telescopes either. So what can we do as astronomers when we have clouds? Radio astronomy!
Radio telescopes don’t care about clouds. We have toyed with four different radio telescopes and are embarking on the fifth. These are not large dish antennas typical of radio astronomy, but small inexpensive antennas. We have had success with an “Itty-Bitty” telescope (sun), a SuperSIDS telescope (solar x-ray flares), and a Yagi antenna (meteors). We tried a Double-Dipole (Jupiter) but received no signals. Our fifth antenna will be a horn antenna (the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy).
By Dr. Aaron B. Clevenson
Observatory Director, Insperity Observatory