COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, our teams have not been able to complete their projects as at June 2020, and as such – their information is not yet available. We will provide this information once the teams are back into building their telescopes and have outlined their journey / results.
To keep up to date of when this happens, and the latest information about this project – please follow our project on our @SpaceAusDotCom Twitter or Instagram, under the hashtag #SpaceAusScope.
History of the SpaceAusScope Project
Australia has always been an important part of the history of radio astronomy. Our location in the southern hemisphere, combined with our relatively small population that huddles mostly around the coastline means we have excellent dark skies for both optical astronomy, and radio astronomy (in terms of radio frequency interference). Some of Australia’s big radio telescopes have beamed back the first images of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, or continue communicating with the most distant objects ever created – the Voyager probes.
As part of our vision, we wanted to continue to ignite the passion and inspiration of Australia’s love with radio astronomy, so we thought about building our own radio telescope that we could use, as amateurs, from our backyards.
We put the call out to everyone on Twitter and Instagram and asked if anyone wanted to join us on this exciting mission, and before we knew it we had 35 teams from across the country joining us from Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, Canberra, New South Wales and Queensland.
High-level Project Objectives
This project is designed as a fun, community science project that allows anyone to participate and learn about radio astronomy, radio telescopes and science. The project teams range from a wide range of experiences including people who’ve never had any interaction with radio astronomy, through to engineers, experts and radio astronomers. The high-level project objectives are:
- Engage in a project that is fun, provides learning and builds a sense of community
- Building of a do-it-yourself radio telescope that is operational and can gather astronomica data in a 3-6 month period
- Development of documentation (e.g. this website) that allows future DIY radio telescope builders to find build instructions, read through our journey and select from a few designs for their own build
- Experiment and learn about radio astronomy!
Each team had the opportunity to build their own telescopes, documenting their journeys and sharing their knowledge through this platform – in the hope that future builders can pick an option that is suited to their needs by reviewing
- Specific objectives based on their goals
- Best cost option suited to their budget
- Accessibility to materials and equipment
- Sensitivity of telescope types (e.g. feed horn vs. dish)
- Depth of science involvement
Are You Ready To Build Your Telescope?
Follow these links to take your next step to building your own DIY radio telescope
Build Your Telescope
Documentation on how to build your own telescope.
Meet Our Teams
Meet the participating teams that built telescopes.
Follow Our Journey
Read the stories from our team’s journeys
Enjoy The Science
Radio astronomy and science information.