Radio Astronomy, Dr. Chuck Higgins
Overview: MTSU ground-based radio telescopes collect radio wave data from Jupiter and the Sun; these data can lead
to the understanding of magnetospheres, plasma environments, solar-planetary connections, and planet-satellite
interactions. MTSU has two dual-polarization radio spectrograph telescopes, one operating in the frequency range of
50-500 MHz for solar radio emissions, and the other from 15-30 MHz to detect both Jupiter and solar radio emissions.
We compare our data with other professional radio telescopes, such as the Long Wavelength Array (LWA) in Socorro,
NM, as well as, the Juno spacecraft mission at Jupiter. In an effort to study Earth’s ionosphere, MTSU will collect radio
astronomy data during upcoming solar eclipses. In addition, our department is a part of a NASA-affiliated education
project called Radio JOVE that focuses on science education using a simple radio telescope kit.
Activities: Operation of radio telescopes; collection, reduction, and analysis of Jupiter and solar radio wave polarization
data. Education and Public Outreach programs.
Minimum Student background: Completed 1- year of introductory physics (Algebra- or Calculus-based)