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News and Updates

2014-03-05

Issue 3 of the RAGazine now available to download - see below

2014-02-24

John Cook has issued the 2014 January VLF Report available here

 


RAG 2014 General Meeting - Tickets now on sale

The BAA Radio Astronomy Group will be holding its 2014 General Meeting on Saturday 17th May at the National Space Centre, Leicester, LE4 5NS

The last two meetings both sold out ahead of the day and current sales are well above earlier years so it looks as if we will not be selling tickets at the door.

In a change to the previously announced programme, Professor Paul Cannon OBE FREng will now be talking on the potential impact of solar superstorms on modern-day life. Paul Cannon is the Professor of Radio Science and Systems at the University of Birmingham and previously served as Chief Scientist and Technical Director of QinetiQ’s Communications Division. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the US journal “Radio Science” and a Vice-President of the International Union of Radio Science, as well as serving on the UK Cabinet Office Space Weather Project Board.

As before, the second keynote speaker will be Dr Klaas Wiersema who will discuss the exploration of the ‘transient’ radio universe, from the mysterious millisecond duration ‘fast radio bursts’ to the energetic afterglows of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). The supporting programme of seven further talks is unchanged and you can find the talk synopses here.

Tickets for the event cost 12 for BAA members and 15 for non-members, including free parking at the NSC and free admission to the main attraction, excluding the Planetarium show. Tea and coffee will be provided during the breaks but lunch is not included. Delegates are welcome to bring their own lunch or optionally, the NSC shop (Boosters) sells a range of sandwiches and other refreshments. It would help the NSC if you could also note the number of people in your party that are likely to use Boosters when you book tickets.

Tickets can be purchased by BAA and non-BAA members alike using this Booking Form. This should be returned to: The British Astronomical Association, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J ODU

You can also fax the form to 020 7439 4629, book by phone on 020 7734 4145 or e-mail the completed form to office@britastro.org (but please remember that e-mail is not be secure)

Please contact radiogroup@britastro.org if you have any queries on the above.


Issue 3 of The BAA Radio Astronomy Group RAGazine now available for download

The new downloadable magazine has content and contributions from many of the members of our group and has been edited by Dave James. Please contact Dave if you would like to contribute to the next edition. Contact details are within the pdf download.

High and low resolution versions of all issues can be downloaded from here.


Amateur Radio Astronomy group tracks Milky Way Hydrogen emissions

A group coordinated by Gordon Dennis is starting a new project to make precision, low noise observations of hydrogen emissions from the Milky Way.


Commencing in the autumn of 2013, the project will use Brian Coleman’s 3.7m parabolic dish telescope located near Andover. The dish itself was originally used for the development of satellite television, with the feed system, low noise amplifier (LNA), receiver and tracking system designed built by Brian himself. Recent improvements to the H Line feed and LNA arrangements have yielded a system noise temperature of about 56K.
Amateur astronomers will be able to drive the telescope remotely over the Internet in much the same way that professional astronomers are able to control telescopes at other observatories including the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank. Amongst other things, this will enable those without radio experience to be able to map structures in the Milky Way.


Gordon has been set the task of bringing together a small team of amateurs to identify observing objectives and help develop analysis techniques. The aim is to do serious precision science, managed along professional lines.
Anyone interested in joining the group should contact Gordon at gordon.dennis@koalapub.co.uk Please give an indication of your existing astronomy experience and indicate what interests you about this project. You don’t necessarily need radio astronomy experience, as this is primarily a science project and any astronomical experience could be useful.


 

Peter East has published a new paper describing a Low Cost Hydrogen Line Radio Telescope

Paul Hyde has updated his paper on Evaluating the 38MHz band

David Morgan's papers on 'Detection of Meteors by RADAR' and 'Measurement of Neutral Hydrogen Velocities' have been re-released.

Note: John Cook (VLF reports) now has a new email address. jacook @ jacook.plus.com

Radio Astronomy Group

You have landed on the BAA RAG Web pages. The site content has been totally rewritten with additional new content added on a regular basis.We would welcome details of projects that you are working on or any observations that you have made. Please contact the webmaster for further information.

You will see that we also have a Twitter account. We will use this technology to notify group members of events, updates and observations.

We also run a discussion group hosted by Yahoo. We will also be developing this over the next few months - you can subscribe to the group to receive e-mails by sending an e-mail to baa-rag-subscribe@yahoogroups.com, you do not need to be a Yahoo group member. If you are already a Yahoo group member the group link is http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/baa-rag/

Aims

Many amateur astronomers who are interested in what happens outside of the optical spectrum are put off making radio observations because they believe that large parabolic aerials and complicated electronic circuits are required to receive the very faint signals arriving from space. They are put off, too, in thinking that the radio astronomer’s output comprises nothing more than reams of paper on which traces akin to squiggly lines are recorded. It is true that there are aspects of radio astronomy that need big dishes and sophisticated electronics, but there are others that can be observed with relatively simple equipment.
The aim of these web-pages will be to show that there are aspects of radio astronomy that can be observed using relatively simple equipment, and that observations of scientific merit can be achieved by modest observatories that can be accommodated in an average-sized back garden. The foundations of radio astronomy were laid down by amateurs as well as professionals and the rapid developments in electronics and computing over recent years makes the building of a personal radio astronomy observatory both feasible and affordable.
For those who have no wish to build equipment the intention is to provide a range of instruments available 'off-the-shelf'. Of course, some construction will be needed, in the same way that an optical telescope has to be set up on a mount or protected from the elements, but the aim is to avoid the need for constructing electronic circuits.
Others will want to take a more hands-on approach, perhaps starting with quite simple constructions and progressing upwards. This may be particularly relevant for younger members. The Group's aim here is to provide information on projects of all levels, links to what others have done, and a discussion board for exchanging information, experiences and observations.

Contributions

We always appreciate feedback on the work of the Group and suggestions as to what should be included on this site. If you would like to help in any way please drop a mail to the RAG Coordinator. RAG is not a collection of experts in radio astronomy but of people who are simply interested in the subject and would like to learn more, perhaps build equipment or just make observations. Your contributions will help others.

UKRAA

The UK Radio Astronomy Association (UKRAA) was set up in 2008 with the support of the Radio Astronomy Group of the British Astronomical Association to handle the development and sale of radio astronomy equipment developed by the BAA RAG.
The UKRAA is a charitable company limited by guarantee.
For information on the UK Radio Astronomy Association, please visit their website at www.ukraa.com


Calendar

Radio Astronomy Talks

BAA Back to Basics, Rugby 2014 Mar 8
West of London AS 2014 Apr 7
Crewkerne AS 2014 Apr 16
Walsall AS 2014 May 1
Nottingham AS 2014 June 5
Swindon AS 2014 June 20


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