We can observe the sky in many ways: the view is always wonderful, fascinating and exciting. You will be astonished contemplating the stars on a clear winter night, away from city lights, the wonder increases observing the details of the moon with binoculars or the planets with a telescope.
These tools, which amplify our visual possibilities, are familiar: who has never had the pleasure of getting close to a telescope’s ocular during an educational evening held by the local group of astronomers? However, not everyone knows that there are other ways to look at the sky, no less fascinating than the visual.
We live in a sea of electromagnetic waves generated by the technology (mobile phones, wireless devices, and television repeaters ....) and from the natural world, with radiation that come from extra-terrestrial space. Every celestial object, from the planets to the farthest galaxies, emit electromagnetic waves: from gamma rays to X-rays, ultra-violet and visible radiation, up to infrared and radio emissions. The human being perceives the emissions in the band of visible because Mother Nature has equipped us with the sense of sight, essential for living, but to "see" other "windows" of the electromagnetic spectrum different tools are needed, each specialized to measure radiation in a certain band frequencies.
Here we come to radio astronomy, and we'll show you how it is possible to study celestial objects by building and using a radio telescope, an instrument consisting of an antenna and a special radio receiver. We will tell you how these tools are made and how to build one: everyone will be able to experiment with radio astronomy!
Undoubtedly it is not trivial to capture the radio of a distant galaxy: the signals are very weak, choked by artificial interference from background noise. To be successful you need a minimum of learning, passion and tenacity. But isn't it true for any activity?
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