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NASA Goddard's Radio JOVE Project is a hands-on, inquiry-based program that promotes the observational science of radio astronomy by focusng on radio noise eminating from Jupiter, the Sun and the Milky Way Galaxy. Radio telescope kits are available for purchase or users may access radio telescopes remotely via the internet.

WCC partnered in the Radio JOVE ever since this NASA project began in 1999. Richard Flagg, who has served as Lanihuli Observatory's affiliate radio engineer and astronomer for WCC's Radio JOVE program, has been a major consultant for the national NASA Radio JOVE Project.

In 1999 a dipole antenna was first installed and operated at Lanihuli Iki (WCC's first radio observatory and NOAA Weather Tracking Station). This basic instrument was replaced by a steerable log-periodic antenna that's controlled by equipment housed at the newer Lanihuli Observatory, located adjacent to Lanihuli Iki. The design and construction of the log-periodic telescope was part of a Hawaii Space Grant project undertaken by several WCC students and their mentors.

Radio JOVE Tutorial Guide

A tutorial guide on the fundamentals of radio astronomy and the Radio JOVE project is available by clicking the icon Visual Primer to Radio JOVE which was written by CAE Director Dr. Joseph Ciotti.


Radio Storms monitored by Radio JOVE

WCC 's log-periodic antenna is tuend to monitor three primarily sources of radio outbursts:        


  • Jovian Radio Noise. As the Jovian moons interact with the planet's magnetic field, they occasionally induce radio storms that emit signature bursts known as L-bursts (long) and S-bursts (short). The orbital position of Io can even be used to predict some of these storms.        
  • Solar Radio Bursts. At the decametric wavelengths monitored by the Radio JOVE receivers, the Sun emits radio bursts that are stronger but less predictable than the radio storms associated with Jupiter. More likely to occur when sunspots are visible, these solar bursts usually last for about 30 seconds.   
  • Galactic Background Radio Noise. This radio noise, which originates from the galactic magnetic field, yields a continuous hissing sound that is always present in the background. This galactic noise exhibits a gradual variation over a 24-hour period.

These radio frequency signals received can be converted into audio sound with each storm yielding its own distinctive signature sound pattern. This Radio JOVE Sound Archive illustrates the different types of sounds captured.

Normally, these radio signals are recorded on stripcharts, which plot the change in the signal's amplitude (essentially its volume change) over time. This Radio JOVE Stripchart Archive shows various samples of these stripchart records.

If the radio signals are swept across a range of frequences, a radio spectrogram (often color-coded) can also be recorded. An explanation of radio spectrograms is available at Radio JOVE Spectrogram Archive which also shows the various kinds of radio spectrograms produced by different Radio JOVE sources.


WCC's Radio JOVE online service

WCC's Radio JOVE main online site provides access to additional archived sound files as well as live streaming and software designed specifically for real-time monitoring.