An Affordable Radio telescope - The New Indian Express

An Affordable Radio telescope

Published: 16th February 2016 05:01 AM

Last Updated: 16th February 2016 05:01 AM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When you hear radio telescope, the first thing that jumps to your mind is a multi-million dollar facility consisting of a massive dish antenna turned toward the heavens.

But now, students of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Thiruvananthapuram claim to have developed an affordable, portable college-level radio telescope for amateur radio astronomy. And it costs just Rs 4000, says members of the young team that developed it. With the everyday radio telescope, one is able to measure the brightness temperature of the sun and detect Saturn and the galactic arm commonly known as the Milky Way.

The telescope is aimed to benefit school children and college graduates, the students told reporters here on Monday. The six-member team which developed the telescope are currently pursuing an integrated MS degree in Physics at the IISER. The team consisted of Devansh Agarwal, Pranshu Mandal, Pratik Kumar, Anjali Yelikar, Kanchan Soni and Vineeth Krishna. Using the telescope, one is also able to determine the brightness temperature of the sun as 10,000 Kelvin using the radio astronomy as a measure of received intensity.

“ We made it from affordable and easily accessible components. Since it is very cost effective, it can be implemented in schools to create awareness about radio astronomy. If you invest more in this and increase the sensitivity, then we can the detect presence of sources other than the sun,” added Anjali Yelikar.

“ The radio telescope isn’t popular in schools. People at high school level don’t know how radio astronomy works. So if they are introduced to it at a young age, then they can learn more about it. Our aim is to bring in the window of astrophysics at school level,” said Devansh Agarwal, another member of the team said. The radio telescope project was implemented not as  part of any assignment given to the students but out of their passion for the subject. The team plans to introduce the telescope to students of city schools on National Science Day which falls on February 28.

What is a radio telescope?

Radio telescope is an astronomical instrument consisting of a radio receiver and an antenna system that is used to detect radio-frequency radiation emitted by extraterrestrial sources

The six member team of students of IISER have developed a cheap radio telescope which is affordable at Rs 4000

With this, one will be able to measure the brightness temperature of the sun and detect Saturn and the galactic arm commonly known as the Milky Way

The students made the radio telescope from easily available components

The aim of the project is to popularise radio astronomy in schools

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