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

Aaron Clevenson
Author: Aaron ClevensonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am the observatory director at the Insperity Observatory in Humble ISD. I am also an adjunct astronomy professor at Lone Star College-Montgomery where I teach solar system astronomy and stars and galaxies astronomy. I am the author of the astronomy textbook, “Astronomy for Mere Mortals.” I am a past president of the North Houston Astronomy Club, and was the chair of Astronomy Day in Southeast Texas in 2015 and 2016. He is an observing program director with The Astronomical League, coordinates their Master Observer Progression Awards, and has authored six of their observing programs.

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