Observing meteors

Meteors cannot only be observed in visible light, but also with radio. If you are tuning a radio set to a special radio beacon, you can detect meteors both during the day and at night and during cloudy weather. And with a simple radio receiver, this form of radio astronomy is within reach for everyone.

Radio waves, just like visible light, are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. But where the visible light of a meteor cannot shine through a cloud cover, or is obscured in daylight, the radiowaves have no trouble detecting these meteors. Because of this you have the advantage that you can observe the so-called daylight swarms in addition to the usual meteor showers. These are meteoric swarms whose radiants only rise above the horizon during the day. How you can get started with this observation technique, we explain in the next articles.

A Perseid meteor seen at the Dwingeloo Radio Telescope. Photo CAMRAS (Harm Munk)