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Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) - 50 Years of Planetary Radio Astronomy
Celebrating 50 years of Planetary Radio Astronomy

Thursday, 29 September 2005

Historical marker near Seneca, MD where DTM astronomers discovered the first radio 
                        emissions from Jupiter
Historical marker near Seneca, MD, where DTM astronomers discovered the first radio emissions from Jupiter. (click here for larger image)

In 1955 Drs. Bernard Burke and Kenneth Franklin at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institution of Washington discovered bursts of radio emissions from Jupiter. This discovery marked the birth of planetary radio astronomy and opened a new window into the study of planetary magnetospheres. Magnetospheres serve to protect planetary atmospheres from erosion by stellar winds and shield the surfaces of solid planets from most energetic charged particles. A radio search for exoplanetary magnetospheres may therefore assist in the search for potentially habitable planets.

The Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institution of Washington (DTM/CIW) is hosting a dedication ceremony and symposium to celebrate five decades of planetary radio astronomy and to reflect on potential discoveries in the near future. The dedication ceremony will be at an historic marker placed near the former site of Burke and Franklin's Mills Cross Array, the instrument used for the discovery of Jupiter's radio emissions. Along with the dedication will be a demonstration of a simple radio receiver system developed by NASA's Radio Jove project. Radio Jove provides students a means to detect radio emissions from Jupiter and the Sun.

This event will be followed by a symposium at the DTM campus, open to the public, by Drs. Bernard Burke, Kenneth Franklin, Joseph Alexander and Joseph Lazio. The subject of these talks will span the early days of ground-based radio astronomy, the breakthroughs in planetary radio astronomy made by the Voyager missions and current work toward the detection of radio emissions from exoplanets. These talks will be followed by a reception at the DTM campus. Dr. Alycia Weinberger of DTM will conclude the day's events with her talk that evening at the institution's P Street facility entitled "Our Solar System and Others Not So Like It," which is part of the CIW Capital Science Lecture Series.

See photos of the day's events:

Gallery

Links

How One Night in a Field Changed Astronomy
(Rachel A. Weintraub, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

Early Days of Radio Astronomy
(Kenneth Franklin)

Planetary Radio Astronomy Fifty Years Ago and Fifty Years Hence
(Bernard F. Burke Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Schedule of Events

Thursday, 29 September 2005

9:00 a.m.
Historic Marker Dedication
and Radio Jove Radio Receiver and Antenna System Demonstration

Seneca, Maryland

11:00 a.m.
Symposium
DTM's Abelson Building Seminar Room

6:45 p.m.
Capital Science Lecture
by Alicia Weinberger
"Our Solar System and Others Not So Like It"

Carnegie Institution
1530 P Street, NW

Directions to All Events

Map

Contact
For more information about the commemoration, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it of NASA/GSFC/QSS Group, Inc. or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it of DTM.