Solar Astronomy – Radio JOVE Antenna

Radio JOVE Antenna – Solar Radio Astronomy

Powerful radio emissions from the Sun and Jupiter are receivable with simple equipment in the 17 to 30 MHz range.

Powerful radio emissions from the Sun and Jupiter are receivable with simple equipment in the 17 to 30 MHz range.  Two  dipole antennas located behind the PARI Cline Administration Building are tuned to 20.1 MHz and the signal is recorded and presented below.  Click on the image below for recent measurements.  This image is updated once every 5 minutes.

To study the powerful radio emission variations as a function of frequency, R. Flagg, (retired from the University of Florida), and Jim Sky (Radio Sky radio astronomy products http://radiosky.com ) have designed a simple radio receiver and software ( SkyPipe ).  Dr.Jim Thieman at the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center manages project JOVE which uses the hardware and software at more than 500 schools around the world.

In this frequency range shortwave broadcast stations, automobile ignition noise and summer lightning storms all add to the noise. By monitoring our remote data feed through SkyPipe, the students are able to determine whether they are receiving local interference or Jupiter/Solar signals. SkyPipe is available as a free downloadable file on the RadioSky website. The software allows three levels of participation: single user, client and server. Single user records audio from the receiver and stores it. Client allows a student to connect to PARI and other worldwide servers to monitor without having any receiver or antenna. Server mode allows data to be streamed live to the Internet so other clients can receive it.

Solar energy bursts will be measured during the day using this antenna and various receivers. A solar flare sounds similar to a Jovian LBurst with an ocean wave crashing on the shore sound lasting typically about 90 seconds. Click the picture below to listen to an audio recording of a solar flare.

SkyPipe software allows students at schools around the world to compare PARI’s live data with their own. The JOVE project is one of the easiest and most inexpensive radio astronomy projects in which a student can become involved. The antenna can be as simple as a wire dipole and still provide good results.


RadioSky homepages for information on SkyPipe software and Jupiter observing.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center project JOVE