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Sunday 14th October 2018 - Radio Astronomy Group Meeting

Next meeting:  Sunday 14th October 10am

Last week we started seeing really strange interference, and last Friday with  some experimentation we narrowed it down to what appears to be a cable issue so we will try and resolve that at the next RAG meeting.

Chris is away in the UK for family reasons so there will be just the one meeting this month, 10am Sunday 14th October.  We will try and address the above mentioned interference.  Ray also has a calibration tool for the Radio Jove receivers and so we will attempt to correctly calibrate them as well.

RAG now has its own web server running with live audio streaming from its Radio Jove receiver and graphs of data updated every 5 minutes.

https://rag.mbo.org.au/

MBO Radio Jove daily graph

As ever if you would like to be involved in RAG please drop an email to:

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All the best!
Chris

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Sunday 9th September 2018 - Radio Astronomy Group Meeting

Next "regular" meeting:  Sunday 9th September 10am
Next "extra" meeting:  Sunday 7th October 10am

The September RAG meeting is this coming Sunday 9th September at 10am at MBO.

As you'll have seen from last weeks newsletter I gave a talk at MBO on Friday 31st August.  I talked about what RAG has been up to since we began back in 2015 and encouraging new people to get involved!

Adrian and I had a busy day today at the "extra" meeting and we now have some live graphs (updated every 5 minutes) of what we hope is data from our Radio Jove as well as real-time streaming of audio from the receiver.

You can see & listen to all this (as long as the power doesn't go out in the log cabin!) on the RAG website which has recently appeared here:

https://rag.mbo.org.au/

We also need to discuss the future of RAG as I'm afraid I need to stand down as the coordinator (for reasons I will discuss in the meeting), so we will need someone to step up to running RAG in my place soon!

If you can make it please do come along and if you are interested in joining RAG (it's free!) you can email me at:

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All the best,
Chris

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August 2018 - Radio Astronomy Group Meetings

Next "extra" meeting:  Sunday 5th August 10am

An idea we are trying where a few of us who can spare a little extra time try to consolidate some of the work done in the previous "usual" meeting and test out some ideas or equipment for the next "usual" meeting.

We'll be double checking the upcoming Io observation times too.

Next "usual" meeting: Sunday 12th August 10am

Continuing work on the magnetometer project and see if we can graph some data! Also (if the weather is good) try and focus the 2nd dish.

Next Radio Jove "Io-B" Observing: Saturday 18th August 17:30 (sunset) - 19:30


Current status:

The Radio Astronomy Group currently has three projects on the boil at the moment covering the inner solar system with the magnetometer, the outer solar system with our Radio Jove equipment and the galaxy (and beyond!) with our 21cm hydrogen line system.

  1. Magnetometer:   we are currently building a portable 2-axis magnetometer for educational and demonstration purposes with the intention of then graduating to building a full 3-axis magnetometer for permanent installation at MBO (which will need burying underground for a number of reasons).  The idea is to be able to record and graph the local magnetic field of the Earth and to monitor its disturbance by emissions from the Sun that can trigger aurora.
  2. Radio Jove:  We have a pair of Radio Jove receivers (one of which starred on StarGazing Live thanks to the good offices of Lindsay) connected to long dipole antennas on the roof of the log cabin.  Here we are trying to listen to the radio emissions from natural processes on Jupiter.   The difficulty here is that there are only certain times of the week when the geometry of the system coincides with our night time and the next opportunity for observing isn't until August now.
  3. 1410MHz Phase Switched Interferometer:  We have a pair of large dishes mounted above the log cabin which are connected to a phase shifted interferometer.  All of this equipment is on long term loan to MBO thanks to the good offices of Ray.  The receiver itself was custom built by Hans Michlmayr and we are now in contact with him in Western Australia and he has been most gracious in helping us with our misunderstandings about what the system actually is (we had heard it was a 21cm hydrogen line receiver), how it works and what it is intended for.

If any of these projects interest you please feel free to visit, and you'd be most welcome to join the RAG mailing list too!

Please contact me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All the best,
Chris (the RAG coordinator)

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Sunday 8th July 2018 - Radio Astronomy Group Meeting

Next meeting: RAG "regular" meeting 10am Saturday 8th July

Ray will bring along his magnetometer project for us to finish building. Please bring soldering irons & solder if you have them! Depending on how many people attend and the weather we may also get to focus the second 21cm dish.

Status update

Our first attempt at listening to Jupiter was sadly unsuccessful as the software we were using has a crazy way of setting the time it uses for predictions and so we were 15 hours out. We've now resolved that! Sorry to those who came along.

Last Sunday 1st July was the "extra" meeting and we ran through the Radio Jupiter-Pro software and figured out why its predictions were so far out (you have to tell it both the timezone of the PC and the timezone for where you want the predictions for and it defaults to the east coast of the USA). We now have results that match those that Lindsay produces and match the Python software.

We've mapped out a set of upcoming Io-B events that are forecast and have requested to book the cabin for them. Next two we hope to observe in July are:

  • Tuesday 10th - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
  • Tuesday 17th - 8pm to 11pm

We also confirmed that neither the new NBN satellite link nor other equipment in the cabin seems to cause interference with the Radio Jove receivers.

Hope to see people next Sunday!

All the best,
Chris