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Home Telescopes Radio Telescopes
Radio Telescopes
Onsala Space Observatory 2-m Telescope
Jodrell Bank Observatory 7-m Telescope


Radio astronomical observations can be carried out during day time and even in poor weather conditions. This makes them ideal for teaching astronomy interactively in the classroom. In a short time, it is possible to detect the radio emission from neutral hydrogen gas in our own Galaxy, the Milky Way, and to map the distribution of this gas in the spiral arms.


The Swedish partner (Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology) has developed a prototype radio telescope which will be made available to pilot schools for real time observations via the Internet.

Onsala Space Observatory 2.3 m radio telescope - SALSA ONSALA


Salsa Onsala is a 2.3 m radio telescope operating at a wavelength of 21 cm. At this wavelength, one can observe the spiral arms of the Milky Way (our galaxy). To detect cosmic signals while watching the telescope move in the webcam is a great thrill for both pupils and teachers.

Onsala Space Observatory is the Swedish National Facility for Radio Astronomy. The observatory operates the two radio telescopes in Onsala, 45 km south of Göteborg, Sweden, in the mm and cm wavelength regions, and is one of three partners in the APEX telescope in Chile.

Onsala Space Observatory 


Watch the radio-telescope in the webcam (which is in the nearby control building) 

Webcam View of the radio telescope 

(In the Exercises section, there is a manual that describes how to operate the antenna and how data should be processed and interpreted) 

  To use the telescope, you need a linux computer. If you don't have that, we supply a boot-cd with Knoppix, which starts you computer in a Linux environment. It doesn't write anything to your harddrive and is  perfectly safe to use. You can also download the source and burn a cd yourself.  

It is then easy to connect to the computer in Onsala and start observing!
The observations are done with the program qradio
When you run the antenna from qradio you can  see it move in the webcam.
(Here the telescope is in its parking position)


There is a planetarium software, kstars, that comes free with
every linux distribution. When logged in to the telescope,
you can use this software to point the telescope to different interesteing astronomical objects.
The observations are saved into files that you can retrieve,
for further analysis with SalsaJ. There is data uploaded
in the Exersices section, which you can download and analyse.
There is also a spreadsheet with calculations where you can
add you own observations and make a better map of the Milky Way
To observe with SalsaOnsala, EUHOU pilot school teachers
should request observation time with Daniel
Johansson (email daniel(at),
where (at) should be replaced by @.
Daniel Johansson 
Onsala Space Observatory; Chalmers University of Technology
Jodrell Bank Observatory 7-m Radio Telescope

Jodrell Bank Observatory 7-m Telescope


The EC-funded project RadioNet is also providing EU-HOU, through the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory (UK), a 7-m radio telescope for use by schools throughout Europe for simple real-time observing projects. The telescope can be accessed through the JBiO Homepage.

To actually use this telescope you will need to be registered for internet observing under the RadioNet project. To register, send an email to This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it giving your contact name, address and email address. You will then be sent a registration pack which includes a username and password, a brief manual for the use of the telescope and several simple radio astronomy exercises to perform with the 7-m telescope.

General descriptions of the internet observatory and the data archive are freely available on the JBiO Homepage.

Relevant PDF files for download are;


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