AREG June Meeting: 21cm Amateur Radio Astronomy

The next meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenter’s Group will be held on Friday June 19th at 7.30pm ACST (1000 UTC). It will be held online due to the COVID-19 large gathering restrictions, which are still in force here in VK5.

AREG Members will be able to participate via Zoom while visitors will be able to watch the stream via Hayden VK7HH’s Ham Radio DX YouTube channel.

21cm Radio Astronomy
by Phil Lock and Bill Cowley

This month, we have as our guest speakers Phil Lock and Bill Cowley, talking about amateur radio astronomy.

Cheaper electronics has created great possibilities for amateur Radio Astronomy.   This talk will describe a local project to receive and map the distribution of 21cm signals from neutral Hydrogen in our galaxy.   We briefly describe the history of  21cm RA and why it’s still of great interest to astronomers.  We outline some challenges over the last few years in assembling a 2m dish with custom feed, electronics and signal processing, then show recent results from our project.

The image above shows recent signals (May 17th) recorded over a 24 hour period for dish elevation of 53 degrees. The signal changes as the antenna points to different parts of the Milky Way.

The AREG committee is also looking to the future and is hoping as the situation continues to improve that we may be able to return to meeting in person by August (our AGM).