Getting Started

There is much more to astronomy than what can be learned by peering at the skies through an optical telescope! The Radio JOVE project has developed a modest cost radio telescope kit to open the realm of long wavelength radio observations to the general public. The Radio JOVE radio telescope is used to receive decameter-wavelength radio emissions from the Sun, the planet Jupiter, the Galaxy, and the Earth. Science can be achieved as the signals are recorded, displayed, analyzed and archived using Radio JOVE software. You can build the radio telescope kit, use your own equipment, or just join in via the Internet.

See Radio JOVE Kits for more on the radio telescope kit options and ordering.

How to Participate

The Radio JOVE project welcomes teachers, students, amateur scientists, ham radio operators and anyone interested in learning more about radio astronomy. You can build our radio telescope kit, use your own equipment, or just join in via the Internet. One of our main goals is to motivate students to learn about science by participating in a scientific activity, making measurements, acquiring and analyzing data, and sharing and discussing their results with other observers.

Our newsletter, "The Radio JOVE Bulletin", includes many articles submitted by participating schools and individuals, detailing their Radio JOVE activities. We maintain a web-accessible archive of data submitted by Radio JOVE participants. See

Build our Radio Telescope Kit

The Radio JOVE project has developed a modest-cost radio telescope kit which is used to receive decametric radio emissions from the Sun, the planet Jupiter, the Galaxy, and the Earth. The signals are recorded, displayed, analyzed and archived using available Radio Jove software.

The kit is intended for advanced middle school, high school, and introductory college students. Many teachers have supervised construction of the kit in after-school science clubs. Students spend about 8 hours building the receiver kit using basic hand tools and a soldering iron. No specialized electronic test equipment is required. The antenna is constructed out of wire, PVC pipe, ropes and stakes, or similar support materials.

The radio telescope kit contains:

  1. All components for the JOVE receiver;
  2. Complete step-by-step instructions for assembly;
  3. Antenna parts for two dipoles including cable, wire, and connectors;
  4. Complete step-by-step instructions for antenna assembly and setup;

Important: The masts, ropes, and stakes for supporting the antenna are not included in the kit. Common hand tools used to put the receiver kit together, such as a soldering iron, wire cutters, screwdriver, etc. are not included as many schools have these materials and tools already. Recommendations for specific tools and materials are in the kit assembly manuals. More information about the kit may be found in the Radio Telescope section of this website.

[ Note: You may also purchase the RJ1.1 receiver as a built and tested unit. See Radio JOVE Kits.]

Make Observations

For Jupiter observations the dual dipole array should be set up in a location that is relatively free from electrical interference. This may be possible near some schools, or it may be necessary to make a nightime field trip to a radio quiet location away from power lines and other sources of interference. The dual dipole antenna array requires a space approximately 9 meters by 14 meters.

Solar and Jupiter radio bursts can be viewed on a desktop or laptop computer running the Radio-SkyPipe software package. This program generates a strip-chart representation of the data and allows you to view other observer's records via the Internet, share your records in real-time over the internet, and chat with other Jove observers and professional radio astronomers.

NM twilight over dipoles RJ at sim. Mars outpost Students study manual Student observing Booth at Hamvention