Radio astronomy is far from being beyond the scope of amateurs astronomers, and this practical, self-contained guide for the newcomer to practical radio astronomy is an ideal introduction. This guide is a must for anyone who wants to join the growing ranks of 21st Century backyard radio astronomers. The first part of the book provides background material and explains (in a non-mathematical way) our present knowledge of the stronger radio sources - those observable by amateurs - including the Sun, Jupiter, Meteors, Galactic and extra-galactic sources.
The second part of the book deals not only with observing, but - assuming no prior technical knowledge of electronics or radio theory - takes the reader step-by-step through the process of building and using a backyard radio telescope. There are complete, detailed plans and construction information for a number of amateur radio telescopes, the simplest of which can be put together and working - using only simple tools - in a weekend. For other instruments, there are full details of circuit-board layouts, components to use and (vitally important in radio astronomy) how to construct antennae for radio astronomy.
From the reviews: "Lashley (National Space Centre, UK) draws on his own work building and observing with radio telescopes and receivers and provides detailed instructions for building several radio detectors ! . accessible to readers with minimal background in astronomy or electronics ! . this practical guide will likely be useful to those with a specific interest in this topic. Summing Up ! upper-division undergraduate and graduate students interested in building a radio telescope." (C. Palma, Choice, Vol. 48 (9), May, 2011) "Observing the sky in the radio domain, although perfectly accessible to the keen amateur, requires dedication and practical skills beyond those normally needed for optical work. ! the rewards are great and those observers willing to follow Lashley's succinct advice will undoubtedly increase their enjoyment of the sky. ! inexperienced will also benefit from Lashley's no-nonsense exposition. ! If you enjoy a challenge as well as the thrill of discovery, there can be no better introduction to the field of radio astronomy than Lashley's book." (Alastair Gunn, Sky at Night Magazine, July, 2011)
Preface.- Chapter 1: The Radio Sun.- Chapter 2: Jupiter.- Chapter 3: Meteors and Meteor Streams.- Chapter 4: Beyond the Solar System.- Chapter 5: Antennae.- Chapter 6: Setting Up a Radio Astronomy Station.- Chapter 7: Radio Hardware Theory.- Chapter 8: Introduction to RF Electronics.- Chapter 9: Building a Very Low Frequency Solar Flare Monitor.- Chapter 10: Microwave Radio Telescope Projects.- Chapter 11: Building a Jupiter Radio Telescope.- Chapter 12: Building a Broad Band Solar Radio Telescope.- Chapter13: Data Logging and Data Processing.- Appendix A: Formulae in Radio Astronomy.- Appendix B: Bibliography.- Appendix C: Supplier, Groups, and Societies.- Appendix D: Glossary.- Index.
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Jeff Lashley is a technical support engineer at the National Space Centre in Leicester, UK. He has written regularly for Sunderland and Dundee newspapers. His most recent article on Radio Astronomy was published in the Radio Society of Great Britain magazine Radcom, in January 2007.