Europlanet Funding Scheme 2018: Connacht Schools Planetary Radio Telescope Network
Europlanet is delighted to announce that it will be supporting the Connacht Schools Planetary Radio Telescope Network through the 2018 round of its Outreach Funding Scheme.
The project will install eight dual dipole antenna radio telescopes on the grounds of rural secondary schools in Ireland. Each radio telescope will be used by teachers and students to observe the aurora of Jupiter, and contribute to the larger network of NASA’s Radio Jove facilities used to monitor the giant planet’s active magnetosphere. The ‘temperate’ Irish climate is ideally suited to these observations and the low population density around Galway means that there is limited radio-frequency interference. Each observatory will feed real-time data to a server at the National University of Ireland.
Project leader, Aaron Golden, explains: “Practical activities in astronomy have great potential for inspiring school students with STEM. However, there are limited opportunities due to the need for specialised equipment and facilities, to work at unsocial hours and, of course, clear skies, certainly for optical astronomy. Radio astronomy offers a very cost effective means alternative for teachers and students to participate in actual observations of radio-bright objects such as the Sun and the planet Jupiter, particularly at decameter wavelengths.”
The next call for the Europlanet Funding Scheme will be launched at EPSC 2018 in September. Look out for details on social media and on our website.