The January 2014 issue of Sky & Telescope features Yvette Cendes’s article on radio emission from Jupiter — and the possibility that we might soon hear similar radio signals from planets beyond our solar system.

Auroral activity lights up Jupiter's poles in the ultraviolet. The permanent auroras are often accompanied by radio bursts.

NASA / ESA, John Clarke (University of Michigan)

Even as astronomers race to catch the radio whispers from a hot Jupiter orbiting another star, NASA’s Radio Jove project can help you listen in on the much louder bursts from the nearest neighboring gas giant.

The project provides audio samples of the two most common signals: long bursts, which sound like ocean waves crashing on a beach, and short bursts, which sound more like pebbles scattered against a tin roof. The audio samples page also includes examples of solar bursts, which are quiet relative to Jupiter, and the hiss from our galaxy.

To get you started, Radio Jove offers kits, which provide most (but not all) of the materials and tools you need to build your own radio telescope. They also offer a how-to manual that links to PDFs on various topics.

Radio Jove also sometimes offers live radio streaming from various observatories. (Scroll down, and look in the left navigation for links to the observatories.)


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