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Friday, December 14, 2007

Geminid Radio Observation


Since the Geminid peak for 2007 is clouded over (which is nothing out of the ordinary in Ohio), I decided to give radio astronomy a try. Radio astronomy works well, even in cloudy weather, because the radio waves have little trouble penetrating the cloud cover.

For meteors, one can use a simple FM tuner, preferably with a directional Yagi antenna. I lack the Yagi antenna for now, so my observation is quite limited. I used a simple unidirectional antenna, much like on a typical FM tuner. This means that it is hard for me to find a clear channel to listen on. Normally, one would point their Yagi antenna towards a distant radio source. An FM radio station outside of listening range works quite well. When a meteor passes between the sender and reciever, a tone is heard. It is merely a reflection, not a product of the meteor itself. I, however, had to deal with interference from local radio stations as well.

On the one mostly clear channel I managed to find, I recorded this. It appears to be a possible overdense reflection, lasting almost a minute. Please note, there is also a decent chance this is local intereference, but the dynamic spectrum resembles that of a meteor reflection. Anyone with more experience here can feel free to chime in.


This event was recorded at a frequency of 88.9 MHz at approximately 9:21PM EST

In the dynamic spectrum plot, note the long, horizontal lines, at approximately 3 kHz, 5 kHz, and 5.5 kHz. These are the tones I suspect to be overdense reflections.

Clear skies! (would be nice)

17 comments:

Sean Welton said...

Anyone with some experience in Radio Meteor, please chime in!

Thanks,
Sean

December 14, 2007 at 1:07 AM

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