© 2010

The Radio Sky and How to Observe It


Part of the Astronomers' Observing Guides book series (OBSERVING)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Jeff Lashley
    Pages 1-13
  3. Jeff Lashley
    Pages 15-25
  4. Jeff Lashley
    Pages 27-55
  5. Jeff Lashley
    Pages 57-70
  6. Jeff Lashley
    Pages 71-98
  7. Jeff Lashley
    Pages 99-102
  8. Jeff Lashley
    Pages 103-112
  9. Jeff Lashley
    Pages 113-144
  10. Jeff Lashley
    Pages 155-170
  11. Jeff Lashley
    Pages 171-179
  12. Jeff Lashley
    Pages 181-198
  13. Jeff Lashley
    Pages 199-211
  14. Back Matter
    Pages 213-236

About this book


We have learned a great deal about our universe not only by looking at the sky through optical telescopes but also by listening to it! Although in the past most of the great discoveries have been made by professional radio astronomers using large radio telescopes built for institutions, today even amateurs can build and use small radio telescopes and make discoveries that can contribute to the general store of knowledge. And you don’t need to be an electronics genius or rich! Jeff Lashley, in this comprehensive guide to the science and art of putting together and using a small radio telescope, will lead you through the process and help you to understand what to listen for. Filled with projects and tips and great advice, he can get you underway in a hurry and help you to decode what you are hearing. So if you’ve been doing amateur astronomy for a while and want to expand beyond what you can see with your eyes, this is a direction you should consider going in. Or, if you’ve dabbled in building radios for years and want to try something new, this can be a way to expand your hobby. Either way, start now listening to the fireworks going on all around you—you’ll be amazed!


Backyard Astronomy Microwave TVRO Practical Astronomy Radio Astronomy Radio Sources Radio Telescope astronomy instruments

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Melton MowbrayUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Jeff Lashley is a technical support engineer at the National Space Centre in Leicester, UK. He has written regularly for Sunderland and Dundee newspapers. His most recent article on Radio Astronomy was published in the Radio Society of Great Britain magazine Radcom, in January 2007.

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

“Lashley (National Space Centre, UK) draws on his own work building and observing with radio telescopes and receivers and provides detailed instructions for building several radio detectors … . accessible to readers with minimal background in astronomy or electronics … . this practical guide will likely be useful to those with a specific interest in this topic. Summing Up … upper-division undergraduate and graduate students interested in building a radio telescope.” (C. Palma, Choice, Vol. 48 (9), May, 2011)

“Observing the sky in the radio domain, although perfectly accessible to the keen amateur, requires dedication and practical skills beyond those normally needed for optical work. … the rewards are great and those observers willing to follow Lashley’s succinct advice will undoubtedly increase their enjoyment of the sky. … inexperienced will also benefit from Lashley’s no-nonsense exposition. … If you enjoy a challenge as well as the thrill of discovery, there can be no better introduction to the field of radio astronomy than Lashley’s book.” (Alastair Gunn, Sky at Night Magazine, July, 2011)

“Jeff Lashley has obviously put in an immense amount of work in compiling this book and the result is a very worthwhile manual that should make it far easier for amateurs to take up this interesting area of astronomy. More than that, a colleague is seriously considering its use as a text for aspiring postgraduate radio astronomers. That is, in itself, real and deserved praise for a book that can be highly recommended.” (Ian Morison, The Observatory, Vol. 132 (1226), February, 2012)