Radio Astronomy Made Accessible


A Brilliant New Title

Where Radio and Space Intersect

Radio and Radar Astronomy Projects for Beginners, by Steven Arnold, is, in my view, currently the best primer and practical guide you can get on this aspect of the hobby. Its 2nd edition offers a fascinating history of radio and radio astronomy,  with many prominent figures covered, who are left our oof other titles, such as Australian Ruby Payne-Scott (whom we featured in RadioUser September 2019: 42, in connection with another Springer title). Also, this book keeps the regular radio enthusiast in mind, with some more chapters on the audio spectrum, the Earth, electrical components, aerials, cables, types of modulation, and a satisfying range of other subjects. However, in my opinion, the real bonus of the book comes in Part Two, where some homebrew, tried-and-tested projects are introduced, for example, the ISS, Moon-bounce, Meteor-Spotting, Aurora-Detection, and the NASA INSPIRE / Radio Jove Projects. Last but certainly not least, this accessible text also covers, in some depth, the radio astronomy hobby with a Software-Defined Radio (SDR). Useful resources, such as a Glossary, and a list of protected radio astronomy frequencies round off this practical volume, which sits in Springer’s well-known Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy series. A full review of this title will appear in one of the forthcoming issues of RadioUser.