Radio astronomy is a subfield of astronomy that studies celestial objects at radio frequencies. The initial detection of radio waves from an astronomical object was made in the 1930s, when Karl Jansky observed radiation coming from the Milky Way. Subsequent observations have identified a number of different sources of radio emission. These include stars and galaxies, as well as entirely new classes of objects, such as radio galaxies, quasars, pulsars, and masers. The discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation, which provided compelling evidence for the Big Bang, was made through radio astronomy.
Radio astronomy is conducted using large radio antennas referred to as radio telescopes, that are either used singularly, or with multiple linked telescopes utilizing the techniques of radio interferometry and aperture synthesis. The use of interferometry allows radio astronomy to achieve high angular resolution, as the resolving power of an interferometer is set by the distance between its components, rather than the size of its components.
Famous quotes containing the words astronomy and/or radio:
“Awareness of the stars and their light pervades the Koran, which reflects the brightness of the heavenly bodies in many verses. The blossoming of mathematics and astronomy was a natural consequence of this awareness. Understanding the cosmos and the movements of the stars means understanding the marvels created by Allah. There would be no persecuted Galileo in Islam, because Islam, unlike Christianity, did not force people to believe in a fixed heaven.”
—Fatima Mernissi, Moroccan sociologist. Islam and Democracy, ch. 9, Addison-Wesley Publishing Co. (Trans. 1992)
“Those are not just code numbers on the radio beam, theyre cries for help. People are being cheated, robbed, murdered, raped. And that goes on twenty-four hours a day every day of the year. And thats not exceptional, thats usual. Its the same in every city of the modern world. But suppose we had no police force, good or bad. Suppose we had ... just silence. Nobody to listen, nobody to answer. The battles finished. The jungle wins. The predatory beasts take over.”
—Ben Maddow (19091992)