Growth and Development of Radio Astronomy in India

  • Govind Swarup


Radio astronomy is the study of the universe through naturally produced radio waves reaching us from a variety of celestial objects. Over the last 60 years, many extraordinary celestial objects and phenomena have been discovered by radio astronomers that have revolutionized our understanding of the universe. This new science was born when Karl Jansky (1933) serendipitously discovered that radio emission in the form of radio noise was being emitted from the direction of the Milky Way our galaxy. This discovery remained unnoticed by optical astronomers and physicists for many years. In 1935 Grote Reber, a young amateur radio engineer, constructed a 10 m diameter parabolic dish in his backyard and succeeded to make a map of the Milky Way (Reber 1940). Development of radar during World War II resulted in the discovery of radio emission from the sun (Hey 1946a; Reber 1944; Southworth 1945). The publication of these results soon after the end of the war, led to the establishments of active radio astronomy groups mainly in Australia and UK, who investigated the nature of radio emission from the sun and also discovered several discrete radio sources associated with objects in our galaxy and distant galaxies. These remarkable discoveries led to worldwide interest in the great potential of the radio window of the electromagnetic spectrum for exploration of the universe, resulting in development of many outstanding radio telescope facilities in the world as well in India.


Solar Wind Radio Emission Radio Source Very Long Baseline Interferometry Radio Telescope 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental ResearchPune University CampusPuneIndia

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