Microwaves and Radio Astronomy
What is the importance of microwaves in radio astronomy?
Microwaves are a form of Electromagnetic waves.
Please click on this URL for an article describing Microwaves:
Please click on this URL to see pictures of the Electromagnetic spectrum:
Also check out this URL for Microwaves:
Visible light only ranges from 790 - 400 TerraHertz
If we limited our astronomical research to visible light
We would be denying us information available in the microwave spectrum
From 300 MegaHertz to 300 GigaHz.
Please note the chart in:
MegaHertz = 1 x 1,000,000 ( 6 zeroes)
GigaHertz = 1 x 1,000,000,000 ( 9 zeroes)
TerraHertz = 1 x 1,000,000,000,000 (12 zeroes)
So visible light provides 390,000,000,000,000 cycles per second (Hertz) of
But microwaves add 300,000,000,000 - 300,000,000 Hertz, or 299,700,000,000
Hertz of additional information to astronomical data.
Microwaves are part
of the earliest known features of the Universe. In 1965 astronomers
discovered that the primordial echo of the Big Bang, as seen today
in simple antennas, is microwave radiation. The Wilkinson Anisotropy
Probe in the late 1990s pegged this background, mapped it, and
concluded that it came from our universe born 13.7 billion years ago.
David H,. Levy
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Update: June 2012